The draft Smoke-Free (General Provisions) Regulations have been published for consultation by the Department of Health. The consultation period expires on 9th October 2006.
In a nutshell...
- all work premises are to be 'smoke-free' if enclosed or "substantially enclosed" - defined as meaning premises with a ceiling unless more than 50% of the 'wall' area is open to outside.
- all employers (or, more accuately, occupiers of the premises) must display a prominent 'No Smoking' sign. The sign must be of at least A5 size and contain the 'No Smoking' logo, together with the words "No Smoking. It is against the law to smoke in these premises except in a designated room."
- company cars are deemed to be entirely non-smoking if they might be used by more than one person, unless it is a convertible car and the roof is open
- there is an exemption for bedrooms in residential accommodation
- there is no exemption allowing employers to have designated 'smoking rooms'
- an employer who fails to display a prominent 'No Smoking' sign is subject to a fixed penalty of £200 (discounted to £150 if paid within 15 days). If unpaid (or the fixed penalty notice is challenged), a fine of up to £1,000 (and a criminal record) may be levied
- an employee (or visitor) who is caught smoking is subject to a fixed penalty of £50 (discounted to £30 if paid within 15 days). If unpaid (or the fixed penalty notice is challenged), a fine of up to £200 (and a criminal record) may be levied
- an employer who fails to take reasonable steps to prevent smoking (and displaying the 'No Smoking' sign is not enough) is liable to a fine of up to £2,500. There is no fixed penalty alternative.
View consultation paper here (large .pdf file - takes about 30 seconds to download on broadband)