Welsh Move May be the Answer to Employers Workplace E-Cig Dilemmas

blog-publish-date

29 Jul 2015

blog-read-duration

  Banning e-cigarettes in enclosed spaces will help to clarify an area that has sparked rows in workplaces across the UK say Wolters Kluwer’s HR and Health & Safety experts Croner. Over the last three years, Croner’s Business Support Helpline has seen a sharp increase in calls as e-cigarettes have grown in popularity. Mike Allen, Croner MD at Wolters Kluwer, says: “Smoking in enclosed (or substantially enclosed) public places, including workplaces was banned in July 2007. However, the legislation does not apply to e-cigarettes as they do not appear to fall within the definition of “smoking”. This has presented employers with a dilemma of whether or not e-cigarettes should be used within the workplace. “The fact that ministers in Wales are looking to ban e-cigarettes in enclosed spaces, will massively help employers with this increasingly difficult area, as there are currently no rules for them to follow.” There are a number of issues surrounding e-cigarette use in the workplace:

  • employers are under a statutory duty to protect the health and safety of the workforce
  • the use of e-cigarettes at work may not fit in with the intended professional image of the organisation and its likely promotion of employee wellbeing.
Mr Allen, says: “The majority of workplace smoking policies do not specifically define smoking, and in the absence of any specific definition, a court of law would defer to the Health Act 2006 which define smoking as ‘lit tobacco or anything lit that contains tobacco, or of any other lit substance in a form in which it could be smoked’. At present there is no evidence to indicate that there are any health effects from e-cigarettes, therefore it’s up to the employer to decide whether they are permitted in the workplace and enforce a ban through the organisation’s internal policies. “A workplace smoking policy can normally be adapted very easily to extend the definition of smoking to include the use of e-cigarettes, however as with any other changes to employment policies, care needs to be taken to ensure the change is effective.”

Free to Download Employer Resources

  • How to make reasonable adjustments for mental health in the workplace

    FREE DOWNLOAD

    How to make reasonable adjustments fo...

    Read more
  • Sample Health & Safety Communication and Consultation Policy

    FREE DOWNLOAD

    Sample Health & Safety Communication ...

    Download Croner's sample health & safety communication and consultation policy, here.

    Read more
  • Adverse Weather Policy

    FREE DOWNLOAD

    Adverse Weather Policy

    Here we’ve included a free sample adverse weather policy that UK business owners can refer to...

    Read more
  • Conducting an Equal Pay Audit

    BLOG

    Conducting an Equal Pay Audit

    The equal pay act sets provisions for organisations to follow the same pay syste...

    Read more
  • Health & Safety Changes to Look Out For in 2019

    BLOG

    Health & Safety Changes to Look Out F...

    The news at the start of this year has been dominated by Brexit and its potentia...

    Read more
  • Understanding Wage Differentials and Identifying Factors That Affect It

    BLOG

    Understanding Wage Differentials and ...

    The first step to understanding wage differentials is knowing the distinction be...

    Read more
  • Solicitors Benevolent Association

    CASE STUDY

    Solicitors Benevolent Association

    “The reason for using Croner was the high-profile track record and the credibili

    Read more
  • John Taylor Hospice

    CASE STUDY

    John Taylor Hospice

    “A large number of the queries are around employment law and rights in areas suc

    Read more
  • Motorsport Industry Association

    CASE STUDY

    Motorsport Industry Association

    “I’m so happy with the service Croner provide, I’d be hard pressed to find a fau

    Read more

Ready to focus on what you do best?

Get your free consultation and speak to an expert today.