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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'.

May 2005


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.

Fixed Penalties

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 local councils.

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.

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For Further Information Please Contact:

Matt Smith, Scottish Secretary
14, West Campbell Street,
Glasgow G2 6RX

Tel 0845 355 0845 Fax 0141 342 2835

e-mail matt.smith@unison.co.uk

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