What constitutes a work place

  hssutton 22:09 05 May 2007

Ok, a small business, owners house ajacent.

To comply with the soon to be enforced smoking ban, smoking in and around the workplace will not be allowed.

As a workaround and because the owner and two managers smoke, all management meetings will take place in the owners home. Does this then make the owners house a workplace and subject to the same rule as the shopfloor workers?

  WhiteTruckMan 22:24 05 May 2007

but two comments. You could ask all parties to sign a waver stating they were willing participents etc etc. Dunno about the legality of such but it may help.

But more specific (to me) is that when the english ban comes into force it will cover the cabs of trucks, as they are deemed to be a workplace. However, an exception will be in place to exempt owner-drivers. This already applies in scotland.


  rdave13 22:37 05 May 2007

Who cares? It's a private abode and as such it's a workaround of nanny state rules. Get a happy life and stop worrying about trivialities..:)

  spuds 23:09 05 May 2007

This could be rather technical. If it is a private house, then smoking within the household would be allowed. But if a 'working' business is conducted within the house, then the property should be registered with the local authority for council tax and Inland Revenue tax banding, and as such constitute a business.

Test case perhaps!!.

  Forum Editor 23:20 05 May 2007

it might be argued that if the owner of a business requires paid employees to attend business meetings in his/her home then for the purposes of the meeting that home, or the part where the meeting is held, becomes a place of work for the employees concerned.

That's not really the point here, however, is it?

The fact that you're asking the question in the first place implies a degree of dissatisfaction with your employer over this. You feel he/she is finding a way around the no-smoking law, and you're possibly correct, but surely, if you feel strongly about this the best way forward is to talk to your employer, and express your concern.

  rdave13 23:33 05 May 2007

Again put over better than I could. Seems that hssutton has a grudge and needs to pick a quarrel about something.

Sort it out in an adult fashion face to face. If you don't have the ummm dignity to do so then quit your job and find something you can handle.

Life is much too short to quibble about unimportant things.

  laurie53 08:40 06 May 2007

The short answer is yes, it is a workplace.

Some workplace legislation does not apply in domestic premises if the employee is a domestic servant, but that is clearly not the case here.

This may have to be tested in the courts, but since so much English law relies on precedent there may not be much of a defence.

The signing of a waiver would not be worth the paper it was written on.

I think the FE is on dangerous ground when he talks about a breach of the law as a "quibble about unimportant things" Who decides which law is important?

No doubt I'll be slagged off for this, but this may also be covered by the H&S Welfare Regulations - workers should have a smoke free environment.


  Monoux 09:37 06 May 2007

laurie53-- I think it was Rdave13 who said "Life is much too short to quibble about unimportant things" and not FE :o(

  Forum Editor 09:40 06 May 2007


Who said a breach of the law was a "quibble about unimportant things"? Certainly not me.

  Forum Editor 09:47 06 May 2007

"The short answer is yes, it is a workplace."

Are you absolutely sure about that, or are you - like me- simply guessing? I suspect the latter is true.

What is more to the point here, as I said, is the thread originator's motive in asking the question, because it looks as if he/she might be considering a confrontation, using the law as a weapon, and if that is the case it seems to me that there should be an easier, less confrontational approach available as a means of first resort.

The employer is a smoker, and is perfectly entitled to do that in his/her home. The legal issue is whether or not employees can be asked to attend such meetings as part of their employment if people are smoking. I suspect the answer's no, and you do, too, but as neither of us is a lawyer (I assume you're not) we ought to be careful about being too assertive.

  Cymro. 10:13 06 May 2007

I have been given to understand that a company car such as used by sales-reps etc.

is classed as a workplace and so although there will usually be only the one employ

in the car, the driver that is, he will still not be aloud to smoke while in the car.

I suppose you can argue about the definition of workplace all day.

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