Over a third of UK employers plan to put an end to smoking breaks among their workers, in light if the newly introduced smoking ban in England, launched this week.
A survey of firms carried out by employment law advisors Consult GEE shows that a significant proportion of employers will take the national smoking ban as an opportunity to stop their staff from smoking during working hours.
Workers who do smoke will have little legal basis to prevent this from happening, but nonetheless it is believed that workplace disputes could arise as a result.
"Although there has never been a contractual right to smoke at work, companies seem keen to eradicate smoking among staff, and the ban is giving them the impetus to do just that," Stuart Chamberlain of Consult GEE explained to Management Issues.
While more than half of employers agree that the smoking ban will help their staff stop smoking, three quarters also assert that it will have no real effect upon workplace productivity.
Following the smoking ban England is now in line with Scotland, Northern Ireland, Wales and the Republic of Ireland.