Smoke-free Workplace Policy
For adoption by Whitby Community College Governing
Body on 23 November 2009 following a recommendation
by the Local Authority in their Review of 13-14 October
Background Information 3
The Policy and Regulations 4
Residential establishments 5
Third party premises 6
Implementation and enforcement 6
Access: If you require this information in an alternative format
such as large type, audio cassette or Braille, please contact the HR
Employment Policy and Support 01609 536028
In 2007, smoking became prohibited in all public places in England and the new law
has been successfully implemented. The general public has welcomed smoke free
public places as an environmental enhancement and North Yorkshire County Council
fully support these developments.
1.0 North Yorkshire County Council (NYCC) is committed to an effective
approach to safeguarding the health and well being of all employees and
others involved with the delivery of Council services. To this end NYCC:
Recognises its duty to provide safe and healthy working conditions and
service delivery environments, by prohibiting smoking in all its
workplaces, enclosed and substantially enclosed spaces and vehicles
Employees are asked to not smoke while in NYCC grounds
Recognises the significant evidence detailing the harmful effect on health
of smoking including passive smoking
2. 0 The aim of this policy is to:
Inform employees and managers of their responsibilities in respect of the
Inform employees of the Health Act, 2006 which prohibits smoking in
public and substantially enclosed public places/premises
Protect the health of employees, service users, Elected Members, and
others visiting and using North Yorkshire County Council premises and
services by applying and enforcing the law
Support smokers and provide stop-smoking information where requested
Support customers and visitors in complying with both the Policy and the
3.0 This policy applies to all employees of North Yorkshire County Council.
School Head teachers and Governing Bodies should adopt this policy or a
similar one for all school premises to be legally compliant.
the In addition, the Health Act, 2006 that prohibits smoking in all public places and
substantially enclosed public places sets out a number of offences related to breaches of
the regulations. The County Council therefore, has a duty to ensure that elected
members, visitors, service users, contractors and agency workers who enter the Council's
owned or rented premises or vehicles are made aware of the smoke-free regulations in
order to comply with them. Employee breaches will be treated as matter of misconduct.
Definitions of enclosed or substantially enclosed public places
The Department of Health have prepared an easy to use guidance document
‘Everything you need to Prepare for the New Smoke free Law from 1 st July
2007’ that includes definitions and examples of enclosed and substantially enclosed
public places. The guidance also includes FAQS and can be found at
The Law and Regulations
4.0 The Health Act, 2006, provides five sets of smoke free regulations effective
from 1st July, 2007 to which North Yorkshire County Council as an employer,
service provider and building and premises’ owner/user must comply:
The Smoke-free (Premises and Enforcement) Regulations
The Smoke-free (Signs) Regulations
The Smoke-free (Exemptions and Vehicles) Regulations
The Smoke-free (Penalties and Discounted Amounts) Regulations
The Smoke-free (Vehicle Operators and Penalty Notices) Regulations
No-smoking signs in smoke free premises
4.1 The Health Act, 2006 places a legal duty on persons who occupy or manage
smoke-free premises to display no-smoking signs that meet requirements set
out in the regulations. Under the Health Act it will be against the law not to
display the required no-smoking signs (from 1st July 2007). An easy to use
guidance document is available from the Department of Health website
http://www.smokefreeengland.co.uk (‘Everything you need to Prepare for
the New Smoke Free Law on 1st July 2007’)
4.2 Therefore, as part of their duties, officers responsible for buildings
and managers responsible for sections, areas or units will be
expected to make sure that no-smoking signs are displayed. Details
of how to obtain posters are given below.
DETAILS OF HOW TO OBTAIN SIGNS/POSTERS
The minimum size for no smoking signs is A5 and 70mms for the no-smoking symbol
1. The County Hall Print Unit will provide both building and vehicle signs and direct
orders can placed by calling 01609 532904
2. No smoking signs can be ordered up to maximum quantities of 50 per order from
the Smokefreeengland.co.uk website, or email firstname.lastname@example.org or
telephone 0800 169 1697. These are free of charge.
4.3 Legal enforcement
Where breaches take place the Health Act, 2006 provides the following which
applies to employees, managers, Elected Members, clients, contractors and any
other person on NYCC premises in the smoke-free areas:
The offence of smoking in a smoke-free place will be a summary conviction
and fine up to £200 or a fixed penalty notice of £50
Where an employer fails to display no-smoking signs they may receive a
summary conviction and a fine of up to £1,000 or a fixed notice penalty of
The offence of failing to prevent smoking in a smoke-free place will be
a summary conviction and fine up to £2,500
The policy and regulations
5.0 In addition to section 4.0-4.3, the following will apply and any breach of the
regulations by employees will be treated as a conduct issue:
Employees are asked not to smoke while in NYCC grounds
Smoking is prohibited in all NYCC owned/rented/ controlled buildings, and
all enclosed or substantially enclosed public places. (Refer to Residential
Establishments for exceptions (6.0))
Smoking is prohibited in NYCC owned and hired vehicles including pool cars
and any vehicle used for NYCC business as a public space.
Where staff are paid an allowance and transport staff, other personnel,
clients other passengers smoking in the vehicle will be prohibited
Where staff use lease cars the above will apply
Staff will not take smoking breaks or clock out using flexi-working time
during the working day in order to take smoke breaks
Managers will not allow staff to take smoking breaks or to clock out during
the working day in order to take smoke breaks
Staff who do smoke are prohibited from smoking in or near NYCC
doorways, entrances and exits to NYCC owned and controlled buildings.
Instead staff who smoke are urged to smoke elsewhere and preferably not
on County Council premises or grounds.
Where a building is shared, North Yorkshire County Council will request
that the policy is adopted by other organisations and that the policy is
applied to communal areas.
The policy applies to all NYCC employees whether employed directly by the
Council or seconded to other organisations. The Policy also applies to staff
employed through an agency, by a contractor or by other organisations.
Electronic Cigarettes – For the purposes of this policy, the use of
electronic cigarettes is to be regarded in the same way as tobacco cigarettes
(i.e. they are not permitted to be used in any work related setting). This is
because they may be unsettling to other employees – particularly those who
are trying to give up smoking or have recently done so – and their use may
be misinterpreted and/or cause alarm.
Staff should also be considerate of the local communities in which they work and
not drop cigarette ends off site when they are smoking during their lunch break.
It is an offence under section 87 of the Environmental Protection Act, 1990 to throw
or drop litter. Local Authority Wardens have the power to issue penalty notices to
anyone caught littering and this can result in a fine of £2,500. The Police and private
individuals can also bring prosecution.
6.0 NYCC recognises that residential establishments are residents' homes. But,
they are also workplaces and the Council has a duty of care to employees and
a responsibility not to place them in situations that could risk damage to
6.1 Residential services managers will carry out health and safety risk assessments
to explore options to minimise risk to employees, service users and others
visiting the establishment and will identify local solutions that balance needs
and responsibilities. These risk assessments will require Director Approval.
6.2 Should a designated smoke-room be necessary in a residential home for the
use of clients then it must be kept clean and adequately ventilated.
Contaminated air must not enter the rest of the building
6.3 Smoking by residents is not permitted within Council premises, by entrances or
exits to buildings, or within enclosed or substantially enclosed areas or where
they are in view of the public, except in an approved designated room as
above. A list of approved smoke-rooms will be maintained by the relevant
6.4 Employees’ exposure to the exempted area outlined above should be kept to
an absolute minimum. Employees should seek advice from their line manager
who should take all reasonable steps to protect them from exposure to second
6.5 Day Service facilities will apply a similar approach.
Note: Designated smoking rooms in other establishments (including schools) are not
permitted under the Health Act or this Policy.
Third party premises
7.0 Employees required to visit other premises as part of their duties, both
commercial and domestic – including a service user’s home, should advise the
occupant when arranging a visit of NYCC’s Smoke-free Workplace Policy.
However, while the Council has a duty of care to protect its employees it
cannot exert prohibitions in private dwellings. Employees should where
possible, request that the occupant arrange for a non-smoking area to be
provided for the duration of the visit.
7.1 Where service users or other occupants do not respect this request and a
solution cannot be agreed at that point the employee might, for this reason
only, suspend the visit. However, prior to taking this action they should seek
the advice and assistance of their line manager.
Where the service is provided regularly, an arrangement with the service user
should be agreed where at all possible for future and planned visits.
7.2 If an employee identifies that they have a pre-existing health problem, which is
made worse by exposure to smoke they should discuss this with their manager
to make alternative arrangements where possible.
Implementation and enforcement of the policy
8.0 Each Corporate Director will be responsible for the promotion and maintenance
of this ‘Smoke-free Workplace’ Policy. Guidance regarding responsibilities in
relation to the policy and enforcement is available from the People Matters
website in the Managers’ Information folder.
8.1 The Council recognises that smoking is an addiction and aims to provide a
supportive environment for those wishing to overcome it. Employees will
therefore be permitted up to four hours of leave to access Smoking Cessation
support with the NHS Stop Smoking Service, as a one-off provision, and would
then use their own time.
8.2 Visitors not adhering to the Policy will be asked to comply or leave the
premises/grounds as they will be committing an offence for which they and the
County Council will be liable.
8.3 The policy will form part of new employees’ induction packs. Training and
guidance to enforce the policy will form part of new manager’s induction.
8.4 Line managers, the Health and Well Being Service, Health and Safety and HR
Services will promote the smoking cessation support services offered.
8.6 If members of staff continue to smoke on NYCC premises during work time,
or are observed littering areas on or off site complaints should be made to
the Service Manager or Head of Service in which they work.
Review of the policy
The Policy will be reviewed by North Yorkshire County Council’s Corporate Risk
Management Group twelve months after the date of implementation/revision.