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Council ‘bans’ staff from smoking at their desks at home
21 September 2020, 06:19
A council effectively banned workers from smoking at their desks while working from home after it failed to cancel a no smoking policy.
Health and safety guidance was issued in 2015 to Hammersmith and Fulham council workers that stated: "any part of a private dwelling used solely for work purposes will be required to be smoke-free".
The guidance was issued jointly with Royal Kensington and Chelsea but they dropped it in February this year.
The advice is still in force and applies to Hammersmith and Fulham council workers who are working from home, however the Telegraph reported that the guidance is “being replaced.”
No-one has been disciplined for breaking the rule, it was reported.
The issue was highlighted in a report, titled: "Smokefree Ideology - How local authorities are waging war on choice and personal freedom”
Josie Appleton, the report's author, said: “"It would be better if councils focused on providing public services, rather than interfering in the lifestyle choices of their employees and residents."
Cllr Ian Hudspeth, Chairman of the Local Government Association’s Community Well-being Board, said councils were being “responsible employers.”
He said: “Smoking is still the leading cause of preventable death. Reducing smoking rates is the single biggest thing we can do to improve the nation’s health.
"As responsible employers and public health leaders, councils make no apology for leading by example and looking to protect the health of their employees and the wider public.”