Frequently Asked Employment Questions

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Document updated/added on 21.08.2020

Topic: Company and staff handbooks

Can we sack an employee who breaches legislation and smokes in the workplace?

It’s possible, providing that you can show the dismissal is a “reasonable response” to the event. For example, a dismissal for smoking in a non-designated area would be reasonable if your business uses highly flammable or explosive materials. However, it would be harder to justify dismissing an employee who works solely in an office environment, unless they persistently broke the rules (in which case, you would normally follow your disciplinary warnings procedure). Tip. Remember that vehicles used by staff for business purposes are covered by the workplace non-smoking legislation (but can be excluded where their use is predominantly personal).