The UNISON Scotland Submission
To the Scottish Executive consultation on ‘The
Smoking, Health and Social Care (Scotland) Act 2005 (Prohibition
of Smoking in Certain Premises) Regulations 2005: Draft'.
This paper constitutes UNISON Scotland's response
to the Scottish Executive's consultation on the ‘The Smoking,
Health and Social Care (Scotland) Act 2005 (Prohibition of Smoking
in Certain Premises) Regulations 2005: Draft'.
UNISON is Scotland's largest trade union representing
around 150,000 members working in the public sector in Scotland.
UNISON Scotland welcomes the opportunity to respond
to this consultation exercise.
While welcoming the general points on the prohibition
of smoking within both these regulations and the accompanying
Bill, there are a number of issues on which UNISON Scotland would
wish to comment.
UNISON Scotland is concerned that the level of fixed
penalties are at the lower end of the scale highlighted in the
Smoking, Health and Social Care (Scotland) Bill. There is a concern
that some businesses may be willing to pay such fixed penalties
and ignore the provisions of the legislation (and accompanying
regulations) in order to maintain smoking within their establishments.
This concern is further heightened, as there seems to be no escalation
of the fixed penalties for persistent, repeat offenders.
Application of Fixed Penalties
UNISON Scotland has serious concerns regarding this
section of the regulations as it mentions that local councils
are responsible for meeting any difference between the income
generated from fixed penalties and the costs of incurred in the
administration and enforcement of such penalties.
All the reports on the implementation of such legislation
appear to assume a high level of compliance, thus a low level
of income would be generated from the enforcement of the legislation.
However UNISON Scotland is concerned about Cosla's claims that
the first two years of the legislation may cost around £6 million.
This will add pressure to the already strained budgets of many
This includes not only the cost of training existing
staff but also highlights the need for more Environmental Health
Officers (EHO's) to enforce this legislation. This includes the
need for more than one EHO to be on duty at a time so that there
is some corroboration on the legislation being breached as well
as an increase in overtime payments to ensure that licensed premises
are visited outside normal office hours. There is a further concern
that the legislation will be introduced at the same time as new
EU Food Hygiene Regulations which will also place significant
burdens on EHO's.
UNISON Scotland has some concerns regarding the
health and safety at work for staff who are employed in some of
the areas which, according to these regulations, will be exempt
from the no smoking ban. While realising that some areas such
as adult care homes may effectively be regarded as the homes of
the residents this does not mean that this workforce should have
poorer levels of health and safety at their workplace. UNISON
Scotland would be in favour of a more proactive approach with
regard to the development of smoking policies for such areas as
well as greater targeting of cessation services on these groups.
A similar concern for the welfare of the workforce also applies
to staff who carry out home visits.