Nottingham council wants staff to make up ‘fag-break’ time

Smokers at Nottingham City Council are being forced to work extra hours if they take regular cigarette breaks.

The council said it had introduced the policy to help protect the health of workers and encourage efficient working practices.

Services director Steve Dowling said it was not fair that smokers took more breaks than other employees.

Smokers can either clock off and on when taking breaks or add two hours to the working week.

Dowling said: “The smoker goes out for a cigarette and, as winter approaches, they come back, they are cold and then they want a hot drink and go to the loo, so they get extra breaks.”

He said while it was natural for people to take “reasonable” tea or toilet-breaks, it was unfair for people to take separate breaks for smoking.

One of the major reasons for the move was to try to improve the health of employees, Dowling said.

The council’s policy follows a decision by Brent Council in London, taken in July, to ban staff smoking breaks during working hours.

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