New figures released by the government found that smoking inspectors had issued 1,233 written warnings to employers for failing to prevent smoking in their premises between July and November last year, leading to eight court hearings.
A further 6,646 warnings were issued to firms that failed to display the correct ‘no smoking’ signs in their premises or vehicles, according to the Department of Health.
Martin Edwards, head of employment at Law firm Mace & Jones, said it was ‘critical’ for firms to have properly implemented smoking policies.
“Getting your smoking policy wrong could see employers winding up in costly and time-consuming legal proceedings. Employers that breach the regulations could face fines for either allowing people to smoke, or failing to display no-smoking signs,” he said.
“We recommend that business owners ensure they have consulted [their staff] and communicated the no-smoking message to their staff. It is also worth seeking legal advice before setting up alternative smoking areas outside, to check they do not contravene the law,” Edwards added.