Employer guide on vaping in the workplace

Peninsula Team

May 31 2019

Is your employee vaping on your work premises? Are other employees complaining? It’s a perplexing modern day issue for employers, and one we discuss below. 

Vaping in the workplace

The increase in vaping in recent years has coincided with many workplaces becoming smoke-free under the smoke-free regulations in Northern Ireland. If employees are vaping in your workplace, it can create an uncomfortable atmosphere, particularly where employees are unsure of what the rules are. Some employers have also reported that the number of employees taking “smoke breaks” has increased since vaping has become more widespread.

Indoor vaping

Although smokers are likely to be aware of their obligation to smoke in a designated area, the rules may not be so clear for employees who vape. Some employers are reporting that certain employees have taken to vaping at their desk or in other enclosed spaces which may be in breach of the smoke-free regulations.

Public health advice

Public Health England produced a report entitled the “Use of E-Cigarettes in Public Places and Workplaces”. In this report, PHE states that “policies should be communicated clearly” and that “managers should indicate accurately where vaping is permitted or prohibited”.

Put a policy in place

The PHE advice is useful and highlights the importance of putting a well-drafted company policy in place to guard against awkward vaping situations arising.

Amend existing policies

Has your business recently amended the non-smoking policy to reflect the increased popularity of vaping? If such policy states that no employees are permitted to vape indoors and that subsequent disciplinary procedures could follow for breach of the policy, this will remove any grey areas which employees could take advantage of.

Without an up-to-date policy and without an express law prohibiting vaping indoors, your employees may continue to take advantage of this loophole and cause disruption in your workplace.

Need our help?

For further complimentary advice on vaping in the workplace from an expert, call us any time day or night on 0800 917 0771 or request a callback here.

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