Smokers’ breaks under fire
MOST workers think it is unfair that smokers take cigarette breaks during the day, with 42 per cent believing smokers should have to disclose their smoking status in job interviews, a survey finds.
But the Employment Office poll reveals that 80 per cent of employers would not be deterred from hiring a candidate if they revealed their smoker status.
Managing director Tudor Marsden-Huggins says the average smoker takes four cigarette breaks a day, lasting about 15 minutes each.
‘‘ That means smokers are spending an hour a day, on top of their lunch break, taking time out to smoke,’’ he says.
‘‘ So non-smokers are working five hours more per week – a total of 30 working days per year – than their nicotine neighbours.
‘‘ While smokers may argue that their breaks allow them to recharge and re-energise, non-smokers often claim that being out of the office on smoking breaks actually reduces productivity and can cause animosity to arise in non-smoking colleagues who feel smokers are entitled to unfair breaks.’’
He says a workplace smoking policy can help reduce the amount of time chewed up by smokos but employers need to remember the rights of employees on both sides of the argument.