Ban could see increase in whistleblowing claims

Hospitality employers may face a rise in whistleblowing claims from staff when the smoking ban is implemented, lawyers have predicted.

Pub and club staff may feel pressured to ignore customer breaches of the smoking ban, according to David Appleton, employment partner at law firm Lewis Silkin.

“The pressure is now on for publicans, restaurateurs and hoteliers to compromise customer choice in favour of those of their staff,” he said. “Once this law comes into force, I predict a wave of whistleblowing claims as staff get victimised for exposing bosses who turn a blind eye to regulars continuing to light up.”

Appleton welcomed the ban. “The difference in legal terms between exposing staff to asbestos and exposing them to the effects of tobacco smoke has always been illusory,” he said.

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