As of today, smoking is illegal in all enclosed public spaces and workplaces, with only a very few limited exceptions. The ban also extends to work vehicles not used exclusively by one person. Employers can no longer operate a policy of having most working areas smoke-free with a designated smoking room for those who do wish to light up. Substantial fines can be levied for failure to comply with the new regulations. Any employer who has not yet taken steps to implement the ban should act immediately.
No-Smoking Signs in Premises
At least one no-smoking sign must be displayed, in a prominent position, at each entrance to smoke-free premises. Signs must be at least A5 size, display the no-smoking symbol and contain, in characters that can be easily read by persons using the entrance, the words ‘No smoking. It is against the law to smoke in these premises’. Any person with management responsibilities for a smoke-free vehicle must ensure that at least one sign which displays the no-smoking symbol is displayed in a prominent position in each compartment of the vehicle.
The Government has produced official guidance on the new law together with sample signs. If you haven’t received a copy, the guidance and the sample signage can be ordered or downloaded from http://www.smokefreeengland.co.uk/resources/.
Employers should review their disciplinary rules and procedures to ensure that these cover any breach of the no-smoking policy and the likely sanctions.
For further information, see the ACAS website.
ACAS has also provided guidance, in question and answer format, concerning issues such as whether or not employers have to provide outside smoking facilities and what to do if customers to your premises insist on smoking. This can be found here.