The Trades Union Congress are backing an all-out smoking-ban by leading pub chain JD Weatherspoon; by May 2006 smokers will be outlawed in all of its 650 pubs.
Brendan Barber, TUC General Secretary supports the move saying that a ‘threat to business’ is now a ‘bogus agrument’ for failure to ban smoking:
“One of Britain’s biggest pub chains is acting to save its staff from the dangers of lethal second-hand smoke.
“Weatherspoons are leading the way but too many employers will continue to neglect their duty to keep their staff safe. It’s the duty of the government to take the lead and make all workplaces smoke-free zones.”
Last year, professional body the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) told HRZone they also support moves to ban smoking in the workplace.
Ben Willmott, employee relations adviser commented:
“The writing is on the wall for smoking at work. If there was a total ban there wouldn’t be much impact because I don’t think people are going to stay at home or not go out because they can’t smoke. In 2000 27% of adults aged 16 and over in Great Britain smoked cigarettes compared to 40% in 1978. I think smokers as an economic group aren’t as strong as they used to be and of that group there will be a large group that will want to give up.”