Scots get guide to managing smoking bans

The first guide on to how to implement a workplace smoking ban has been issued to employers in Scotland.

From 6am on 26 March 2006, smoking will be forbidden in all Scottish workplaces and the majority of enclosed public places. The new law includes sole traders, guest houses, hotels and private clubs.

The Scottish Executive guidelines set out steps that employers, managers and those in control of business premises can take to comply with the regulations. It includes samples of smoke-free policies and of ‘no smoking’ signs which must be displayed.

The guidelines recommend discussing the new law with staff before implementing a smoke-free policy. Scottish employers are encouraged to take ‘reasonable measures’ to ensure that staff, customers, members and visitors are made aware of the policy and that they do not smoke on the premises. If an employee or customer is found smoking in a public house, it could lose its licence.

Smoking rooms will not be permitted and employers are being advised that they are not obliged to provide external smoking shelters or stub-out bins.

If an employee flouts the ban, employers are advised to implement their normal procedure for anti-social or illegal behaviour. Businesses will be fined £200 if they do not take reasonable measures to prevent it or if they do not provide adequate warning signs. A refusal or failure to pay may result in prosecution and a fine of £2,500.

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