Lawyers predict wave of whistleblowing once smoke ban comes in

Hospitality employers may face a rise in whistleblowing claims from staff when the blanket smoking ban is implemented across England and Wales next summer, lawyers have warned.

Pub and club staff may feel under pressure 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 the rights of their staff,” he said

“Once this law comes into force, I predict a wave of whistleblowing claims as staff get victimised for exposing their bosses for turning a blind eye to their regulars continuing to light up.”

Appleton said the move to implement a total ban will plug a “major gap” in health and safety legislation.

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

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