London Borough of Sutton Council and Employees’ Joint Committee - 2 October 2006 Strategy Committee – 9 October 2006 Report of the Executive Head of Human Resources Smoke Free Policy Ward Location: Author(s) and Contact Phone Numbers: Area Served: Lead Officers: Dean Shoesmith, Chris Reid, Amanda Fulker, Andrew Chinneck Lead Councillor: John Drage Report for Executive Decision Summary This report covers the proposal to revise the Council’s policies on smoking in line with the objectives under the Health White Paper “Choosing Health” and forthcoming Smoking legislation in summer 2007. These concern smoke-free workplaces and banning smoking in public spaces respectively. Public authorities have been encouraged to act in advance of forthcoming legislation to control the public health impacts of second hand tobacco smoke. The Council’s existing policy dates from 1992 and was revised in December 1997 (Personnel Handbook reference ER9 – Smoking Policy) Appendix B The draft policy which it is proposed to introduce from 1 February 2007 is attached at Appendix A. Recommendation: - Agree the attached draft Smoke-free Policy - Agree that the policy applies to all existing and new staff including those with an
contractual right to smoking breaks based on the pre-1 June 1992 cut-off date. - Note the arrangements for assisting employees in quitting smoking. - Agree the implementation date of 1 February 2007 for the introduction of new arrangements and note that 3 months notice will be given to all employees of the change of policy 1. Background
1.1 Sutton first introduced a smoking policy in 1992. At that time smoking was
banned from the majority of internal work areas, although smoking was allowed in designated rest rooms and interview rooms. This policy also allowed those staff employed before 1 June 1992 “reasonable time, authorised by the Manager, to go to a smoking area for one cigarette in core time in both the morning and afternoon”. Other absences for smoking outside core time were to be deducted from flexitime. For those staff with a start date of 1 June 1992 or after, smoking breaks were not permitted. A copy of the current policy is attached at Appendix B.
1.2 The Council, via Strategy Committee in November 2000, adopted a Tobacco
Strategy for Sutton. This took into account the objectives of the Government Paper ‘ Smoking Kills’, to reduce smoking in children and young adults, to help adults to give up and to offer help to pregnant women who smoke. The Strategy included the remit to review the Council’s smoking policy.
Context of Legislative Changes – Practice in Other Public Bodies (NHS)
2.1 The House of Commons voted on 14 February 2006 to introduce a ban on
smoking within all enclosed “public environments”. This decision will make a significant contribution to public health; the Government estimate that it will encourage 600,000 people to stop smoking. It will also reduce the health risks from second hand tobacco smoke. This is a significant risk factor for employees in premises where smoking is allowed. The Government has recently published draft regulations to implement the anti-smoking legislation contained in the Health Act 2006 (an outline summary of the provisions is attached at Appendix C)
2.2 The Government’s proposals stem from the White Paper “Choosing Health”
which also encouraged public authorities to take an early lead in introducing smoke free environments. The Health Service has introduced such a policy with effect 1 January 2006 and complies with paragraph 77 of the “Choosing Health” Executive Summary that states “by the end of 2006, all government departments and the NHS will be smoke – free”.
2.3 The Sutton & Merton PCT policy prevents smoking in Trust buildings,
entrances to buildings, anywhere within the grounds of PCT premises and within vehicles used by the Trust. The Sutton & Merton PCT policy also prohibits smoking off-duty whilst in uniform or when identifiable as a member of PCT staff, wherever they are located.
2.4 The effect of Sutton adopting a similar policy to the PCT will result in a
reduction the effects of smoking and second hand tobacco smoke and the negative image created by those smoking within the close proximity of Council buildings.
3. Revising Existing LBS Policy
3.1 There are compelling reasons for revising LBS’s existing policy and practice
• Improving employee’s health from tackling a major cause of ill-health,
including cancer, respiratory illness and heart disease,
• The majority of the population are non smokers (in 2003 only 23% of the
population were smokers compared to 46% in 1973);
• There is a legal obligation under the Health & Safety at Work Act to provide
working environments that are “safe, without risk to health….”. Passive smoking from second hand tobacco smoke presents a risk to health.
• Smoking represents a fire risk. • Protecting LBS should any future liability arise from allowing employees to
4. Breaks - Smokers employed before 1 June 1992
4.1 Staff employed before 1 June 1992 were allowed a morning and afternoon
smoking break within core time under Sutton’s existing policy.
4.2 Employees who smoke that came into the organisation after 1 June 1992
currently take smoking breaks even though the policy does not strictly permit this. The revised policy prohibits smoking during work time. Smokers taking breaks have been a source of complaint by non-smokers whose workload may be affected by smokers taking such breaks.
4.3 Under the draft policy, once at work, a smoker would be allowed to leave LBS
premises and smoke during their lunch break, providing smoking is not undertaken within a smoke free-zone and they are not displaying a Sutton ID pass or Sutton ‘logo’ on a uniform item.
5. Assistance in Smoking Cessation 5
LBS proposes to provide assistance in smoking cessation following implementation of the new policy. The Sutton and Merton PCT adopted this measure; their policy provides for a single course of smoking cessation classes during work time, together with support for nicotine replacement therapy for a specified period and LBS intends to replicate this.
The Employee Side agree with the principle of a smokeless policy. A number of meetings have been held with Employee Side prior to the CEJC and their concerns have been addressed, wherever practicable.
Notice (i.e. 3 months from 01.11.06) will be given to all employees advising them of the change to the smoking policy, and to advise them clearly of the requirements of the new policy – to include the consequences for employees if they breach those requirements i.e. that disciplinary action will be taken.
8. Smoking in a) In uniforms and b) Smoke-Free Zones
The draft policy provides for smoking in uniform within the criteria for lunch breaks and outside smoke free-zones, providing that a LBS ID card and/or Sutton logo is not visible.
It is intended for smoke-free zones around LBS buildings to be locally determined after consultation. The general criteria is ‘smoking is not permitted in close proximity’. Where practicable, information about the perimeters of smoke free zones will be available for example through local communication channels, the intranet and at induction.
9.1 Based on the experience of Sutton and Merton PCT it is likely that between 30
and 40 people may seek support form the smoking cessation classes. The estimated cost of this, excluding loss of staff time, is between £840 and £1,120, which will need to be contained within existing estimates.
10. Influence of the Council’s Core Values 10.1 The policy change reflects the Council’s need to act with corporate social
responsibility and to provide a model duty of care to our employees and service users. In particular we have worked in partnership with the Sutton and Merton PCT to produce this policy and to promote and contribute to good public health in the borough. 11. Contribution to the Achievement of the Council's Priorities for Change
The successful implementation of the smoke free policy will facilitate the Council’s aim of improving the health and well-being of Sutton’s residents.
Appendix A London Borough of Sutton Smoke-free Policy
Introduction 1.1 The London Borough of Sutton (LBS) recognises its responsibility under the
Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations (1999), to identify people particularly at risk from workplace hazards. This responsibility includes tobacco smoke in the workplace and the health risk created from exposure to second hand smoke. In addition under Section 2 (2) (e) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 places a duty on all employers to provide a working environment that is 'safe, without risk to health, and adequate as regards facilities and arrangements for their welfare at work.'
The smoke free policy aims to protect non-smokers from second hand smoke and is not designed to punish smokers, as such. However, breaches of the policy will be subject to LBS’s disciplinary procedures. “A smoke free environment” will be the accepted practice.
1.2 The Public Health White Paper ‘Choosing Health (2005)’ declared that all
government workplaces, including local government, would become entirely smoke-free by the end of 2006. By extending its no smoking policy to become a smoke free policy LBS aims to increase the protection afforded to non-smokers and to be in a better position to meet the introduction of legislation due to come in to effect in the summer of 2007.
1.3 Passive smoking causes cancer, coronary heart disease and respiratory
disease, as well as a number of conditions including asthma, middle ear infections and migraine. Smoking poses a fire risk on LBS premises, and also has cost implications for cleaning of cigarette ends. Many employees, and visitors to LBS premises are unwilling passive smokers because smoking is currently permitted in certain areas.
1.4 The aim of the smoke free policy is to afford protection to non-smokers from the
effects of second hand smoke rather than to penalise smokers. While it is hoped that the policy will assist smokers to quit, the focus is not on 'whether' people smoke, but 'where' and ‘when’ people smoke and the effect of second hand smoke.
1.5 LBS’s policy is that there will be no smoking in the workplace and the
workplace will be smoke free. The smoke free policy requires that employees must not smoke in close proximity to any LBS building and the policy will cover all LBS work, rest and common areas, entrances, exits and LBS vehicles. Further information about the areas around LBS buildings (ie smoke free zones) within which smoking is not allowed, is available on the intranet, and/or will be communicated locally, however if you are in any doubt you should speak
to your line manager. Employees must not smoke anywhere in public view whilst in a uniform that displays the Sutton identification logo, or wearing LBS identity badges whereby they could be identified as LBS workers. The new smoke-free policy will be effective from 1 February 2007.
1.6 LBS will support employees who require help in giving up smoking. Employees
who wish to give up smoking will be able to attend stop smoking sessions. If access to stop smoking sessions is required during working time, time off (up to six sessions) will be supported by their manager in doing so.
1.7 LBS recognizes that this policy represents a large cultural change, and may
attract some opposition. Experience from Ireland and parts of the UK demonstrate that smoke-free policies can be implemented successfully and with minimal disruption.
2. The Policy
2.1 Employees will not smoke while on duty in any LBS premises, including grounds.
An illustrative list is shown below (this may not be exhaustive):
• any temporary structures, whether sited on or off LBS premises provided for
• any common areas including corridors; stairs; lifts; storage areas; toilets and
• any rest areas and rest rooms provided for employee breaks/comfort;
• any entrances, exits or within the close proximity of LBS premises, as outlined
in paragraph 1.5 above (in public view or in the open air. This policy does not cover smoking in non-LBS buildings.) * See note below.
• in public view whilst wearing LBS identity badges or uniform displaying the
* Note: The aim of the smoke free zone outside LBS premises is to create a reasonable smoke-free environment around LBS buildings in order that:
LBS can lead by example in encouraging smoking cessation
Users of buildings are not forced to walk through second hand smoke to work or gain access to LBS services.
Managers need to ensure that employees or groups of staff are not congregating in close proximity to LBS buildings (see paragraph 1.5 above) thereby undermining the LBS's reputation and inconveniencing users of those buildings with the effect of second hand smoke and tobacco related litter. Local arrangements may need to be applied.
Premises within the smoke free zone, e.g. cafés, pubs, personal dwellings would not be covered albeit that legal restrictions will be imposed by legislation on other public venues from the summer of 2007 Employees may smoke during a lunchbreak or in their own vehicles providing they are not identifiable as LBS employees and they do not do so on LBS premises or within close proximity to a LBS building (see paragraph 1.5 above).
LBS recognises that the prohibition on smoking within the close proximity to a LBS building cannot be enforced against visitors.
2.2.Breaks 2.2.1 LBS would wish to ensure that employees do have normal working breaks
away from their work area for a rest or refreshment. However any breaks other than a lunchbreak should normally not entail leaving the place of work.
2.2.2 Smoking breaks are no longer permitted. Employees may not leave the
buildings in which they work for the purpose of smoking during working hours other than during an authorised lunchbreak.
Responsibilities and General Application of the Policy
• be responsible for ensuring the LBS meets its duties under The
Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999;
• undertake appropriate and necessary action to protect non-smokers from
• advise employees of smoking cessation options and ensure that they are
aware and comply with the LBS’s smoke free policy;
• include monitoring of the policy in health and safety inspections and
• take reasonable care for the health and safety of themselves and of others
who may be affected by their acts or omissions at work;
• co-operate and comply with the smoke free policy and with any arrangements
introduced/actions taken to protect non-smokers in the workplace;
Signs/Notices shall be posted in relevant areas in LBS premises advising employees and the public of this policy. Managers responsible for letting premises will encourage users to refrain from smoking by erecting signs on these premises requesting users not to smoke; and explaining LBS’s policy.
3.4 A breach or persistent breaches of this policy will be a disciplinary offence.
The normal practice in the event of a breach/es of the policy will be:-
- an informal, verbal warning (first offence) - a formal final warning (second offence) - dismissal (third offence)
(In the first instance, an initial breach will be dealt with in a sensitive and
supportive manner by the manager, who will verbally warn the employee and remind the individual of the requirements of the policy. Employees will be offered help to quit smoking – see paragraph 4 below)
Assistance to help give up smoking
Employees who wish to quit smoking will be encouraged to attend smoking cessation sessions. Those who are actively participating in such sessions will be given access to Nicotene replacement therapy where appropriate. If access to stop smoking sessions is required during working time, time off (up to six sessions) will be supported by the manager in enabling employee to attend (see Appendix 1).
Smoke - Free Environment – Third Parties
In addition to LBS employees, the smoke free policy will apply to visitors, contractors, agency staff, customers and/or clients. LBS recognises that the prohibition on smoking in close proximity building cannot be enforced against visitors.
Employees making home visits must be provided a smoke-free environment to work in. All clients will be requested to refrain from smoking until the visit is over. Employees are able to refuse to enter a home while a client is smoking. They should report it to their manager/supervisor at the earliest opportunity.
Employees visiting clients’ premises in the event of an emergency are not in such exceptional circumstances expected to refuse to enter a home if someone is smoking. It is anticipated that these circumstances will be rare.
5.4 Employees are encouraged to make any clients, contractors (including agency
temps) or visitors aware of the policy, however they should not put themselves
at risk of physical or verbal abuse in doing so. Employees will not be disciplined for failing to inform contractors (including agency temps) or visitors of the policy, though they should report any incident to their manager at the earliest opportunity.
Clients living in Residential Homes may be permitted to smoke however arrangements should be made to ensure that it does not expose employees or the general public to the risk of passive smoking.
Employees must be supported if they report any breaches of the policy to their line manager, who will be responsible for dealing with the breach.
Groups of clients will not be exempt from this policy except in exceptional circumstances. In certain circumstances clients may be granted an exception from the policy. Exceptions will only be made on a case-by-case basis, taking account of circumstances, and is likely to include clients who are:
unable to understand the policy (e.g. cognitively impaired)
Difficult Clients, Visitors or Contractors (including agency temps)
A zero tolerance approach will be applied to any clients, visitors or contractors including agency temps) who become abusive when reminded of the policy. Experience suggests that individuals rarely become abusive or violent as a result of applying a smoking free policy.
8.1 The policy will be reviewed 6 months after introduction and thereafter at regular
If you have any questions about the policy please talk to your manager in the first instance.
Local support available for smokers wanting to quit:
The Sutton & Merton Stop Smoking Service run a stop smoking group at regular intervals. The service can arrange for participants to get a treatment aid (Nicotine Replacement Therapy or Zyban) on prescription, through the GP. For more information or to register for the group please telephone 0800 652 8019.
GUIDANCE NOTE ER9
The Council has a stated policy of ‘Working towards no smoking’, and a summary of the current arrangements is given below.
The Council is to review this policy in 1998/9, in consultation with the Employee Side and the Staff Side(Hay Officers).
3.CURRENT ARRANGEMENTS FOR APT&C STAFF (AS THEY THEN WERE)
In 1992 the following arrangements were agreed by Resources Sub-Committee, after full consultation with the then Council and Staff Joint Committee:
• smoking banned in all work areas, interview rooms, corridors and
toilets, except in certain public areas where it is specifically permitted, including designated rest rooms and interview rooms when a member of the public is present and being interviewed.
• smoking banned in the staff restaurant at the Civic Offices, except
before 11.30 a.m. and after 2.00 p.m. when it is permitted in the window area of the restaurant.
• APT&C staff with a start date with the Council before 1 June 1992 (the
date the changes took effect) permitted reasonable time, authorised by their manager, to go to a smoking area for one cigarette in core time in both the morning and afternoon, and other absences for smoking outside core time to be deducted from flexitime.
• APT&C staff with a start date of 1 June 1992 or after are not permitted
to have similar breaks as they were made aware of the restrictions on smoking before they took up their employment.
Staff are reminded that a breach of these arrangements may result in disciplinary action.
If you need any further information about the policy or its operation, please contact your Group Personnel Manager.
HUMAN RESOURCES DECEMBER 1997 Appendix C Consultation on proposed regulations to be made Titled: Smoke-free premises and vehicles
In outline the draft regulations provide that:
All work premises must be 'smoke-free' if enclosed or ‘substantially enclosed’ -
defined as premises with a ceiling unless more than 50% of the 'wall' area is open to the outside
Employers must display a prominent 'No Smoking' sign which must be of at
least A5 size and contain the 'No Smoking' logo, together with the words ‘No Smoking. It is against the law to smoke in these premises except in a designated room’
Company cars are deemed to be entirely non-smoking if they might be used
by more than one person, unless it’s a convertible car and the roof is open
There is an exemption for bedrooms in residential accommodation There is no exemption allowing employers to have designated 'smoking
An employer who fails to display a prominent 'No Smoking' sign will be subject
to a fixed penalty of £200 (discounted to £150 if paid within 15 days). If unpaid (or the fixed penalty notice is challenged), a fine of up to £1,000 (and a criminal record) may be levied
An employee (or visitor) who is caught smoking will be subject to a fixed
penalty of £50 (discounted to £30 if paid within 15 days). If unpaid (or the fixed penalty notice is challenged), a fine of up to £200 (and a criminal record) may be levied
An employer who fails to take reasonable steps to prevent smoking (and
displaying the 'No Smoking' sign is not enough) will be liable to a fine of up to £2,500
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