Belfast Telegraph

Monday 15 September 2014

Smokers 'filtered out of workplace'

Smokers may soon be filtered out of the workplace, a campaign group claimed

Smokers may soon be filtered out of the workplace because employing them is "too much trouble", a lobby group has warned.

Forest, which campaigns for people's right to smoke, said more and more employers were making life unreasonably difficult for smokers.

Director Simon Clark spoke out as Breckland Council, which is based in Dereham, Norfolk, became the latest local authority to consider making workers clock off while they take a cigarette break.

"Breckland are the latest council to consider - or impose - this clocking off and back on policy. Some have even gone further by imposing smoking bans." said Mr Clark.

"We don't have figures but there are quite a few which either having some sort of 'clocking off' policy or a complete no-smoking policy.

"Our concern is that soon smokers will be losing out on jobs because their lives at work will be so complicated that employers will decide it's too much trouble to employ them."

He added: "This idea of 'clocking off' to smoke isn't a health issue. It's unreasonable. Will they make people 'clock off' if they have a coffee break?

"If some people are taking too many smoking breaks than they should and taking advantage that's an issue for managers, not a health issue."

Mr Clark said Forest had already objected to job advertisements asking for "non-smokers".

Breckland councillors are due to decide whether to impose the "clocking off" policy after considering a report.

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