Notts County Council staff could face smoking ban during work hours

Smoking cigarette butts

Smoking cigarette butts

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Thousands of council staff could face disciplinary action if they fail to stick to new proposed smoking rules, according to national reports.

Under the new plans at Notts County Council, its 9,000 employees will be banned from lighting up during work time, including e-cigarettes.

The authority has said that it has a ‘duty of care’ to protect the health of its workers.

The possible ban, which could come into force early next year, will include all council buildings, land and vehicles.

The council’s deputy director of public health, John Tomlinson, told the Press Association: “We are trying to be a supportive employer and have a duty of care to protect the health of our employees as part of a wider remit to take a leading role in promoting better health in Nottinghamshire.

“If you asked 100 smokers if they wanted to give up, 70 of them would want to.

“With this in mind we want to encourage staff to attend smoking cessation services.”

“If they don’t want to give up smoking they will get withdrawal symptoms at work because of their nicotine addiction.”

Notts County Council staff get a short break in the morning and afternoon, but if the ban comes into place, smoking will no longer be allowed.

Brian Fitzpatrick, Unison services conditions officer, also told the Press Association: “We’re supportive of public health and we haven’t got a stance on this, but we are balloting members asking whether they would be for or against.”

“I don’t see yet how they could enforce it.

“Say you work in highways, if you want to smoke, you need to take all your uniform off and go as far away from site as possible and have a cigarette and then come back.

“You’re not going to be able to smoke in your uniform, or if you’re standing outside your council workplace or are wearing a council badge or lanyard.

“If you’re in the parks department, you won’t be able to - even when you’re outside.

“If anybody goes out on council business and drives their own car, they won’t be able to smoke.”