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Health and safety
02 November 2016
Smoking has been banned in all enclosed and 'substantially enclosed' workplaces in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland since 2007.

The ban also applies to vehicles which are used to transport the public or are used by more than one person in the course of work. It would therefore apply to minibuses and coaches used by educational establishments.

All smoke-free premises and vehicles to which smoking legislation applies must display at least one no smoking sign in a prominent position.

Although it is not a legal requirement, employers have been encouraged to urge employees to quit smoking. ATL believes that educational establishments should offer staff help to quit smoking. In addition, they should have a policy which addresses the following:

  • induction training on smoking restrictions
  • arrangements for staff who still wish to smoke during working hours
  • help available to staff who wish to give up smoking
  • procedures to be followed when smoking restrictions are breached.

Electronic cigarettes

Electronic cigarettes do not contain tobacco or produce smoke and their use in enclosed workplaces is not banned by law in the UK. However, employers are free to produce their own policies on their use and the TUC reports that many have already banned their use. The TUC recommends that electronic cigarettes should be subject to the same restrictions in the workplace as tobacco.