Union Hits Out at Council's Staff Smoking Ban
3 November 2018, 12:16
A union has hit out after a local authority banned its staff from smoking or vaping during working hours.
The Evening Telegraph reports Dundee City Council's new rule applies when employees are outside, travelling between offices and on tea breaks.
It means from Thursday they can only smoke or vape when on unpaid lunch breaks.
George Barr, local Unite convener, told the newspaper: "We have been asking what help the council will give and it doesn't look like it will be anything substantial.
"The council should be helping people to give up if it wants to enforce this policy, especially if people could potentially be sacked for
"This is an attack on people who smoke. It's not an easy thing to give up - and not everyone wants to either."
Dundee City Council brought in the changes to "protect the health of employees" and continue to promote non-smoking role models to children. It said it mirrored policies in NHS Tayside and other local authorities across Scotland.
A spokesman said: "The council has revised its smoking policy as we are working to protect the health of employees and also promote positive health messages across the wider community, in line with the agreed 'Our People Strategy' and health and wellbeing framework.
"The council is committed to helping achieve the national targets on reducing smoking in the Scottish Government's 'Creating a Tobacco-
Free Generation' strategy.
"A key part of that approach involves discouraging children and young people from taking up smoking.
"One way to assist that is to reduce the number of adult 'role models' who can be seen smoking in public.
"Across Dundee, there has been the introduction of voluntary no-smoking areas at children's playparks and we will be looking to extend this
to more open spaces in the future.
"The new policy mirrors recent changes brought into effect by NHS Tayside and by other councils across Scotland. The council will assist any
employees who want to try to give up smoking.
"There was detailed discussion with trade unions during the formation of the new policy and employees will be able to ask their line
managers about the implications for them at the start of this early implementation stage."