I was confronted with a dilima where previous Management allowed employees to take ad hoc smoke breaks, which meant that when the craving came, they went! Not only the Office workers but also the factory employees, they would pop outside and puff-away.. If an office worker takes a smoke break it holds up their work. If a production worker takes a break, production is covered by a mate, if the foreman spots him he gets reprimanded . Not a cool situation.
As a smoker myself, I did not smoke during working hours, New Environmental Lesgislation then required employers to construct sheltered smoking areas with disposal facilities for the cigerette buts etc.
A meeting was then convened to discuss the new legislation and its implications.
In order to accomodate smokers the added costs barring the downtime of the employee just taking off, to me, it was ludicious, new construction, cleaner for smoking stations etc
I then threw a spanner in the works by pointing out that unless all smoking during working hours was stopped the company would indirectly be allowing discrimination, - if the smokers were allowed to take say 20 minutes a day out for smoking, what is to stop a non smoker stepping out for 20 minutes?
Is that not a form of discrimination. (This was in the UK).
In the end it was decided that all area including the grounds and parking lots were none smoking areas. It was worked out fine eventually, once the full implecation of all these unplanned smoke breaks had on production, costs, descrimination to non smokers regarding the time out etc was explained to the smokers they agreed it was an unfair pratice. (You could spot the smoke filled cars in the parking lot at lunch time, (weather permiting of course).
The memory of this just sprang to mind when walking through the CBD and seeing office workers outside the building or on the corners during working hours and wondered what the local thinking was on this practice?
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