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.

maddening Fri 06-Sep-13 19:00:32

Ps there are other ways of getting the nicotine into your system to feed the addiction - having extra breaks to smoke is not necessary at all.

maddening Fri 06-Sep-13 18:57:09

Where I used to work you could only smoke on your breaks - don't see why any smoking should come out of work time at all!

Panzee Fri 06-Sep-13 18:55:06

I used to work somewhere where we all go 10 mins in the morning and 10 in the afternoon, whether we smoked or not. Everyone seemed happy with that. Most of the non smokers didn't bother but they knew they could if they wanted.

TigerseyeMum Fri 06-Sep-13 18:54:00

My friend took up smoking in one job because it was the only time he was allowed to go outside for a break. Almost 20 years later, he's still smoking...

Kendodd Fri 06-Sep-13 18:51:04

I used to work somewhere that the smokers could go outside twice a day for an extra break. I asked if I (non smoker) could have an extra tea break instead and was told no because I didn't smoke. I should have asked if I took up smoking then I be able to have the break?

LustyBusty Fri 06-Sep-13 18:47:32

Sorry, started ranting there... OP, YANBU. I'd love those smoking rules!! grin

LustyBusty Fri 06-Sep-13 18:46:39

Where I work I am allowed to smoke on my lunch break only.
Bit of context... Flexi time, have to be at work 9-12, 2-4, 37.5 hours a week. Initially I was starting at 7:45, cig 8:55-9, 12-12:05, 1-1:05, butty at desk, cig at 1:55-2, 4-4:05, home at 5. I would book 45 mins a day "lunch" (non working time), but would only really be taking 30 mins. During this time one of my colleagues took 1hr5 mins to make a cuppa for 5 (I kid you not-she took my cup at 9:50, I collected it on my way past the kitchen to my 11am meeting). I got pulled up for "abusing the flexitime rules and wasting time" and was told I was not allowed to split my lunch break (eg 3x 10 min breaks for 30 min lunch). So now I arrive at work at 7:50, have a ciggie, clock in at 8. Lunch is 12:30-1 and I leave at 4 on the dot. They lose.

luxemburgerli Fri 06-Sep-13 18:03:43

Poor wee things my bum, hackmum grin

GingerBlackAndOriental Fri 06-Sep-13 09:32:39

I'm a smoker. No where I have worked has allowed 'smoke breaks'.

Would usually get a 15 minute break in the morning, 30 mins for lunch and 15mins in the afternoon. If you wanted to smoke you did it in those breaks which everyone got.

I don't understand 'smoke breaks'. Shouldn't be allowed IMO.

mrsjay Fri 06-Sep-13 09:25:31

I am a smoker that sounds reasonable I dont work full time anymore but I didnt get fag breaks you go on your teabreaks and lunchtime, ,

hackmum Fri 06-Sep-13 09:22:38

How times change. In ye olden days, smokers just used to smoke at their desk of course, and everyone was happy (apart from the non-smokers). When I started working in an office, there was a smoking room where people went for their fag breaks - and that seemed to work as a place for informal networking, giving the smokers one-up on the poor old non-smokers. Now the poor old smokers have to stand out in the rain and wind puffing away desperately for no more than five minutes. Poor wee things.

Featherbag Fri 06-Sep-13 09:15:04

Where I work we do 13 hour shifts, we get an unofficial 20 minute breakfast break on a morning, no one is allowed to leave the building. Lunch is 30 minutes unpaid, you can do what you like but to smoke you must go to the changing room, get completely changed out of your work uniform and shoes, then go off the premises (5 minute walk to perimeter) if you want to smoke. 30 minute tea break (unofficial so paid), no one allowed to leave premises. No one complains! And none of these breaks are guaranteed, one or more of them often doesn't happen.

starfishmummy Fri 06-Sep-13 08:28:33

Back in the day when or office introduced a smoking room the idea was that people would take some work to do while they were in there. Dont think it ever happened.

Melonbreath Fri 06-Sep-13 08:27:39

I'm a smoker and that's really generous.
I would go outside, and shave 5 minutes off my lunchbreak for it. after certain people complained that I was getting time out I pointed out they spent up to half an hour making coffees and nattering in the kitchen an offered to clock in and out if they would too.
I never got complained about again.

wonderingsoul Fri 06-Sep-13 08:03:03

im a smoker and they seem very fair to me.

ithaka Fri 06-Sep-13 07:28:02

StarlightMacKenzie Saying something is an addiction does not absolve addicts of their responsibility for it.

It is possible to quit addictions - hard, but possible. I am not sure employers should enable their employees addictions. In general, enabling addicts is seen as unhelpful behaviour - addicts have to learn to take responsibility and own their behaviour is they are ever going to have the chance to break the addiction.

starsandunicorns Fri 06-Sep-13 07:23:28

I smoke where I work now I have a hours lunch but break it down to a 15 min break in morning and afternoon and a 30 lunch break and only smoke in that time I used to do nights and started at 10pm till 6:15 am and got one 40 min break at 1am and smoked then though the perm would sneek off for a ciggie and would also have a 20 min break at 4am I never worked anywhere where you just went for cig cos you felt like one

SHarri13 Fri 06-Sep-13 07:15:10

Sounds very reasonable to me!

Jinsei Fri 06-Sep-13 07:11:11

I'm surprised at how many people are saying that smokers should use their morning/afternoon tea breaks. I've never worked anywhere where I've had formal breaks for tea/coffee - normally it's just a case of grabbing a coffee and drinking it at your desk.

I don't mind if the smokers in my office nip out for a fag every now and then, as long as they're getting their work done! Likewise, people can make as many cups of tea and coffee as they like, I'm not counting. They're employed to do a job, and I'm happy to let them get on with it. That said, we did have one employee who took the piss, and couldn't do the work he was supposed to do because he was outside smoking all the time. We let him go during his probationary period!!

AnnaKissed Fri 06-Sep-13 06:17:06

Can MN addicts pop out for 5 minutes on their phone whenever they feel like it? grin

their breaks even . . .

Why can't they just smoke on heir morning tea/lunch breaks ?
Used to really pi$$ me off when I worked that smokers popped out when they liked for a cigarette ! everyone should get the same breaks, and what you do on them (make calls, read etc or smoke) is your business.

MidniteScribbler Fri 06-Sep-13 01:12:56

It's banned completely at my workplace by law, so no options for smoke breaks. Fortunately we have no smokers on staff, so no one complains.

1944girl Fri 06-Sep-13 00:40:37

I like to have a smoke.

I am now retired but when I worked there was a policy for smokers.You either took your 1 hour break, or went for a smoke when things were quiet and did without your official break.

It was not just the smokers who took liberties though.I remember one workmate, a non smoker, who was a union rep.He would always announce he had to see someone urgently who needed union advice, and disappear(sp) for half an hour.This always seemed to co-incide with busy times so we always wondered if it was genuine union business he was on or just an excuse for a skive.

I know smokers cause a nuisence because I was one, but it is not just smokers who do disappearing acts in work time.

Wallison Fri 06-Sep-13 00:23:03

Anyway, I think the rules sound more than reasonable compared to a lot of firms - surely in most places you just wouldn't be allowed smoking breaks at all? Not that I think that's right, but it seems to be they way things are going.

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