(A pdf version of this policy is available for download here)
From 1st July 2007, all public places and workplaces (including vehicles) became smoke-free in England, with the exception of a limited number of exemptions under the Smoke-free (Premises and Enforcement) Regulations 2006.
St Stephen in Brannel Parish Council recognises that the health, safety and welfare of employees, visitors to Council property, and anyone else directly affected by the organisation’s operations are of prime importance. Therefore, Members have developed and enforces a dedicated smoking policy, conforming to the requirements of the smoke-free legislation.
This policy is applicable to all employees and Councillors at whatever level of the organisation’s hierarchy, as well as sub-contractors who undertake activities on behalf of the organisation and any visitors to/customers on the organisation’s premises. This policy and its mandatory application will be communicated to all employees, sub-contractors, visitors, clients and interested parties.
The Council recognise that the majority of people who are smokers will show consideration for others in their smoking and will be responsible about disposing of cigarette ends. However, the policy is set out to provide clarity on relevant matters and to enable us to address any problems with smokers who are not considerate or responsible.
Although they fall outside the scope of smoke-free legislation, the Parish Council prohibits the use of e-cigarettes/vapes as per smoking.
The rationale for a ban on e-cigarettes/vapes is that:
- although they do not produce smoke, e-cigarettes/vapes produce a vapour that could provide an annoyance or health risk to other employees; and
- some e-cigarette models can, particularly from a distance, look like real cigarettes, making a smoking ban difficult to police, and creating an impression for visitors/customers/other employees that it is acceptable to smoke.
As part of the Parish Council’s induction process, new starters will be told about this policy and shown where it is located. Newly elected Members will be advised of the policy and that it is available on the website. Employees are responsible for informing any visitors to the Councils premises of this policy. In addition, the Parish Council displays signs that make it clear that smoking is prohibited within its buildings.
Smoking is strictly prohibited in
- any part of the Parish Council Office, including the entrance ramp and exits.
- the Brannel Room, including the entrance ramp and exits.
- the workman’s rest rooms and tool sheds at both St Stephen Cemetery and Nanpean Cemetery.
- the public toilets in Nanpean and St Stephen.
- the former Sunday school also known as Nanpean Church Rooms.
- any company vehicle.
Staff may smoke before and after working hours and during their breaks in the appropriate areas. When individuals wish to smoke while on duty, issues of safety and/or public perception are paramount and these must take precedent over the needs of the individual. Staff who smoke must extinguish and dispose of used cigarettes in a responsible way. In addition to being a fire hazard, discarding cigarette ends makes staff, like the public, liable to legal action for littering. This offence may also be considered as misconduct under our disciplinary procedures.
Smoking is not permitted in vehicles which belong to or are being leased by the Council. Private staff vehicles used during work for more than one member of staff should be smoke-free at that time.
Guidance for Councillors, sub-contractors, visitors, clients and interested parties.
This policy also applies to all Councillors, sub-contractors, visitors, clients and interested parties, who are not permitted to smoke within the boundaries and grounds of any premises used as a workplace for Council staff.
Prohibition on the Sale of Tobacco Products
The Council will not permit the sale of tobacco or tobacco products in any of their premises. We will also fully co-operate with law enforcement agencies, in their investigations into any illegal sale of tobacco products by any staff, Councillor or member of the public. This activity may be considered as gross misconduct resulting in disciplinary action.
Breaches of the Policy
Any member of staff refusing to observe the policy will be liable to disciplinary action in accordance with disciplinary procedure. Smoking in an unauthorised area will be a disciplinary offence and may also be contrary to the Health Act 2006. Taking a break to smoke during core hours without authorisation, or dropping cigarette ends on the floor may also be viewed as a disciplinary offences.
Any councillors, sub-contractors, visitors, clients and interested parties refusing to observe the policy will be reported to the appropriate authority. Smoking in public places and the workplace is dealt with as a public health matter within Great Britain. The Department of Health takes the lead on this –
Department of Health (DoH)
Tel. 020 7210 4850
In the event that you witness a breach of this policy, the persons concerned should be asked to extinguish all smoking materials and be informed of the availability of external smoking areas. If they continue to smoke, the matter should be referred to the Clerk. Staff and Councillors are not expected to enter into any confrontation that may put their personal safety at risk.
Support for Smokers
If you need help to stop smoking, the NHS offers a range of free services to help smokers give up. Visit gosmokefree.co.uk or call the NHS Smoking Helpline on 0800 169 0 169 for details. Alternatively, you can text ‘GIVE UP’ and your full postcode to 88088 to find your local NHS Stop Smoking Service.