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HR/Employment Law experts-Smoking cessation programme at work

(12 Posts)
trojanhouse Sun 09-Feb-14 16:37:22

To hr/ employment law experts
Can an employer insist that an employee attend a smoking cessation programme?

Thanks in advance

trojanhouse Sun 09-Feb-14 17:08:38


flowery Sun 09-Feb-14 19:01:01

Goodness, what's the hurry?

In answer to your question, it would be easier to advise with a bit of context.

Are you the employee?
How has this come about?
Is an alternative being mentioned?
Is this programme during work time?
Who would pay for it?

Trojanhouse Sun 09-Feb-14 19:31:24

I was hoping you would answer Flowery
My employer is trying to encourage employees to take part in a smoking cessation programme. I don't want to participate in this scheme.
My employer is paying for the scheme and it is during work
However, I would have thought that the scheme would be voluntary , but I almost feel that I have to take part.
Can they force me to take part?

HermioneWeasley Sun 09-Feb-14 19:50:04

It is quite possible to require people to be non smokers in jobs.

Whether they can require you to attend, if it is in work time then possibly.

If it's in work time and free, what's your objection to attending?

honestpointofview Sun 09-Feb-14 19:51:01

Hi Trojan

No is the short answer. Not a reasonable and lawful management instruction. However if you were taking cigarette breaks during paid working hours offering a course would be a good argument for them to use for employees that say they can not give up.

From what you say they are just trying to encourage rather than force.

honestpointofview Sun 09-Feb-14 19:54:49

Oh there is an interesting thought from Hermione re recruiting non smokers. I guess no discrimination so possible. As to employees already working, I do not think so for most jobs.

NatashaBee Sun 09-Feb-14 19:56:53

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Trojanhouse Sun 09-Feb-14 20:15:24

Natasha - I am simply not ready to stop smoking , just think it would be a waste of time and money.

honestpointofview Sun 09-Feb-14 20:30:08

Well if it helps, as an employment solicitor, in my opinion, I do think you can be forced to go on the training.

honestpointofview Sun 09-Feb-14 20:42:07

missing the all important not!

flowery Sun 09-Feb-14 21:41:27

Well "trying to encourage" doesn't sound much like forcing is on the horizon.

Of course they can't frog march you into the room for the programme, so in this context, "force" would in fact be "disciplinary if you don't attend", or some other sanction.

OP does that really sound likely to you?

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