Smokers' group Forest (Freedom Organisation for the Right to Enjoy Smoking Tobacco) has criticised Nottingham County Council's decision to ban employees from taking smoking breaks, describing it as "a gross intrusion in people's personal freedom."
Director Simon Clark says employers have "no business" prohibiting employees smoking outside working hours when they are not even on the premises.
Under the proposals being considered, smoking will be allowed during lunch breaks but not in uniform or anywhere near council property.
A good employer recognises that everyone is different and has different ways of coping with the stresses and strains of a working day.
Everyone is entitled to a break. How people spend it should be up to them. Some drink coffee, others choose to smoke. Rightly or wrongly, many smokers believe it relaxes them and helps them refocus.
Disciplining employees for smoking on their to way to and from work is a gross intrusion in people's personal freedom.
Employees are entitled to a private life and as long as their habit doesn't interfere with their ability to do their job, employers have no business prohibiting them smoking outside working hours when they're not even on the premises.
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