Breckland councillors back smoke break ban

BBC News
29 September 2010

Critics say the crackdown on smokers at work is "tyrannical". Proposals to make workers clock off when they go for a cigarette break have been backed by a Norfolk council.

Staff at Breckland Council will not be paid in future for the time they take to have a cigarette after the proposals were given the go-ahead.

Simon Clark, from Smokers' lobby group Forest, said earlier that everyone was entitled to a break during work. The council said the move was aimed at making the issue of smoke breaks fairer for individuals who did not smoke.

William Nunn, leader of the Conservative-run council, said: "We are not trying to stop smoking... what we are saying is when people go for a cigarette they should do it in their own time."

Mr Clark said: "Are they going to introduce clocking in and off for people who go on the internet, on Facebook, or people who want to have a cup of coffee? "I am sure there are some smokers who abuse the situation and go out too often but if that is happening that is a failure of management." A meeting of the full council voted to approve the measure on Wednesday.

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