Charities 'failing staff on smoking'

Charities that employ outreach workers risk official complaints from staff if they do not review their smoking policies, a human resources consultancy has warned.

The ban on smoking in public places protects staff who use employers' property such as buildings and vehicles. However, staff who regularly perform home visits could be exposed to smoke unless employers draft policies asking clients not to smoke when they are visited by outreach workers.

"The ban has heightened awareness of the dangers of passive smoking and encouraged outreach workers to consider their own health and safety while at work in private homes," said Elspeth Watt, director of consultancy firm Calibre HR & Training.

"Some employers have responded by introducing new HR policies and contacting clients to request they do not smoke before or during meetings."

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