In the UK there are now laws against smoking in vans that are used for work activities. Different parts of the UK have different regulations with Scotland being the first country in the Union to enforce these restrictions. With each part of the UK having subtle differences when it comes to smoking in work vans it is important to understand these, it could cost you or your company a fair bit.
There are a couple of exceptions to the law that would allow a work vehicle to be smoked in, but they are quite vague and can be a little in the grey area of when it comes to proof and responsibility. It would be up to you or your company to prove that the vehicle falls into these exceptions.
A company car used solely by one employee is an exception only if the driver never has to pick up any employees to go to meetings or the car is used by another employee if the main driver of the car is on holiday or off sick for the day. Blatantly speaking the car can only be driven by one employee.
A privately owned car used occasionally for company business is also exempt from the regulations – occasionally is the key word here and like mentioned above it is upto the company to prove the car is only used occasionally.
A vehicle which has a roof that can be removed will not have to be smoke free when the roof is completely stowed or removed.
The penalty for not displaying a sign is a fixed-penalty notice of £200 reduced to £150 if paid within 15 days. If the fine is not paid and you are convicted in court the maximum fine is £1000.
Individuals caught breaking the law can be issued with a fixed penalty notice of £50 reduced to £30 if paid within 15 days or a maximum fine of £200 on conviction.
Companies have a duty to prevent smoking in vehicles classed as smoke free. The penalty for this is a maximum fine of £2500 on conviction. Compliance requires that reasonable steps are taken by a company to enforce the rules.
Following the advice above should ensure company vehicles are compliant throughout the UK saving both companies and employees from falling foul of the regulations regarding smoking in business vehicles across the United Kingdom.