To see nothing wrong with these workplace smoking rules

(82 Posts)
doingthesplitz Thu 05-Sep-13 11:42:40

Our HR Department has introduced some new rules re smoking breaks eg No smoking break within one hour of clocking in (we are on flexi) or for half an hour before clocking out; one morning smoke break must be taken as part of your normal coffee break; smoking breaks should not last more than five minutes and should be kept to an absolute minimum.

Most of us can see where HR are coming from. There were a few staff members who were constantly disappearing for a smoke; would clock in when they arrived in work and immediately go outside for a cigarette; stand outside smoking for twenty minutes in the evening and then come in, clock out and go home; and would take a full coffee break and then immediatly go on a smoking break.

However, some of the smokers are moaning and giving out and saying 'God, next thing we'll start getting told how many times we can go to the loo' etc.
AIBU to think they should just shut up about it. At least now they might be around occasionally to answer their own phones.

whatsthatcomingoverthehill Thu 05-Sep-13 11:45:29

When I worked somewhere you had to clock in and out the smokers were expected to sign out when they went for a fag. Seems entirely reasonable to me.

Callani Thu 05-Sep-13 11:46:08

Nothing unreasonable about these rules if you ask me. Where I work you get 1 hour for lunch unpaid and if you smoke you take it out of your lunch break. It still leaves a lot of non-smokers who never take the full hour anyway but it's better than nothing.

AnyFucker Thu 05-Sep-13 11:47:12

Yes, the whining addicts should STFU about it

If it were up to me fag breaks wouldn't be allowed at all

ChippingInNeedsSleepAndCoffee Thu 05-Sep-13 11:48:11

That is more than reasonable. I would have more restrictions than that if I were writing the 'rules'!

Sparklymommy Thu 05-Sep-13 11:48:21

I think that's quite a reasonable set of rules to be fair. Then again I am a non smoker!

DefiniteMaybe Thu 05-Sep-13 11:48:44

Fags breaks have never been allowed at my jobs. You use your normal break times to smoke.

jacks365 Thu 05-Sep-13 11:49:49

Last place I worked you couldn't smoke on site at all and all cigarettes had to be smoked off site on official breaks or with permission of line manager in exceptional circumstances (stressful customer helpline). I've never worked anywhere where people could just go for a smoke break.

ChippingInNeedsSleepAndCoffee Thu 05-Sep-13 11:50:16

ie - no additional smoking breaks.

Before work
20 mins morning tea break
1 hour lunch break
20 mins afternoon tea break
After work

Surely plenty of time to smoke there? - and no long stretches without a break!

DoJo Thu 05-Sep-13 11:50:52

Sounds reasonable to me - after all someone who was popping outside to make personal phone calls for five minutes at a time would have sanctions so why should any other personal habit be tolerated (and I say this as a smoker - never smoked apart from on my lunch break when I was at work).

exexpat Thu 05-Sep-13 11:51:28

I'm surprised there is still such a thing as an official smoking break during paid working hours, to be honest.

KellyElly Thu 05-Sep-13 11:54:36

Sounds pretty fair to me (and I smoke).

official smoking break?

Im surprised at that, here if you smoke you do it on your lunch break and that is it.

Alibabaandthe40nappies Thu 05-Sep-13 11:55:29

I have never understood why people who smoke think that those who don't choose to be addicted to something should do their work for them while they indulge their filthy habit.

If I was making the rules there would be no smoking breaks at all. It is revolting to be sitting at your desk and someone who has come in from a fag break to come and sit next to you and breathe over you, utterly gross.

TensionWheelsCoolHeels Thu 05-Sep-13 11:59:52

I used to work flexi-time years ago and when smoking was first banned in the office (I used to sit across from a woman who smoked at her desk, complete with huge overflowing ashtray) smokers were given their smoke breaks(in the smoking room, on the same floor as reception so you can guess what smell hit anyone who came into our office). One of the non-smokers sat and worked out how much extra time away from the desk/phones smokers were getting in a year, and demanded the same amount of time added to non-smokers flex time. I think it worked out at about 25 hours a year. Non smokers didn't get the extra time, and it did cause resentment for some.

I don't think those rules are unreasonable at all.

flowery Thu 05-Sep-13 12:04:08

Pretty outdated to get smoking breaks at all IMO. Most employers would consider coffee and lunch breaks perfectly sufficient to enable those who choose to smoke to do so.

If they don't like the rules, they should consider that if they hadn't been abusing the fact that they were allowed to take breaks in the first place, there would have been no need to become so prescriptive about it.

NatashaBee Thu 05-Sep-13 12:04:49

YANBU at all.

500internalerror Thu 05-Sep-13 12:10:23

It does wind me up a lot when certain people at work go on about how busy they are, no time for anything, they'll never get through their workload - then give me something to do, which means I stop my own stuff, and they go off for a fag sad. Because of my own personal bugbears, I'm totally against fag breaks at all. Why can't you use your normal breaks, like people do for everything else?? End of rant.

Bumblebee333 Thu 05-Sep-13 12:10:33

I dont think that is unreasonable at all. I am a smoker. I work 8 - 6 with half an hour lunch but I usually take about 20mins. I got for a cig break (about 3mins) at 10, 12 then lunch at 1, then cig at 3, and 5. Due to my transport circumstances I arrive at work 15 mins early everyday though so i don't feel I am taking the piss with cig breaks.

Lweji Thu 05-Sep-13 12:12:33

If they don't like those rules, are they prepared to clock in and off every time they have a smoke break and make up for the extra time?

TVTonight Thu 05-Sep-13 12:13:57

HR should ban smoking on the premises.

ComtesseDeSpair Thu 05-Sep-13 12:15:43

My work takes a draconian step further and also forbids smoking entirely for customer-facing employees within working hours. So many customers complained about two or three particularly heavy smoking staff who frankly reek of stale smoke, more so just after they've had a fag, and aren't pleasant to be near. However, my company does recognise that employees work better when regular and unquestioned breaks are allowed for a leg-stretch, some fresh air, to run a quick errand or just for a change of scenery. Nobody abuses it and we are indeed a very content and efficient workforce.

Nancy66 Thu 05-Sep-13 12:17:51

It's pretty standard.

There was a time when nipping out for a fag became a bit of a social for smokers. They'd go in groups, chat, have a coffee and a smoking break would last 10 minutes. Have one of these an hour and a smoker ends up working about six hours a week less than a non smoker.

fatdaddy72 Thu 05-Sep-13 12:22:51

If we want to smoke we can as long as it's not excessive. I would frown upon any of my team going for a smoke within an hour of starting though. Non smokers are also welcome to get up and grab 5 minutes if and when they need as well.

Arabesque Thu 05-Sep-13 12:23:13

There's nothing unreasonable about those rules. But it's amazing how oblivious some smokers are to the inconvenience and annoyance they cause to others - whether it's forcing them to inhale second hand smoke; inflicting the stink of stale cigarette smoke on them; or constantly leaving their desks for a fag and assuming other colleagues are happy to take phone calls, field queries, wait for them to return so they can follow up on things etc etc.

Where I used to work smokers would round each other up to go outside for a cigarette and a nice long chat. The same people, always outside the door puffing away when you were going in and out of the building and no doubt moaning about how busy and stressed and overworked they were.

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