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Amendment of workplace smoking policy may be necessary ‎

September 2012 - Employment. Legal Developments by Norrbom Vinding Law Firm, member of ius laboris.

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Health and safety at work
The amendments to the Danish Anti-Smoking Act recently entered into force, and workplace smoking ‎policies may therefore need to be amended.‎

When the Danish Parliament adopted the Danish Smoke-Free Environments Act in 2007, employers ‎were required to issue a written workplace smoking policy specifying where smoking was allowed and ‎which consequences non-compliance would have for the employees. Now the most recent ‎amendments have entered into force, and they involve a restriction in employers’ access to allow ‎employees to smoke in the workplace.

With the new amendment, employees are no longer allowed to smoke in single-person offices. ‎However, employers will still be able to allow their employees to smoke in drivers’ cabins, company ‎cars and cranes which serve as the workplace of a single person.‎  

Employers are still allowed to set up smoking rooms and cubicles at the workplace, but there is now a ‎requirement of clear signage to be displayed outside the smoking room or cubicle, warning that the ‎surrounding air may be harmful.‎

Total ban on smoking at schools
With the amendment comes an outright ban on smoking at educational institutions whose students are ‎below the age of 18. The ban also includes teachers, who are no longer allowed to smoke on the ‎premises of the educational institution.‎

And lastly, the amendment has increased the size of the fine which may be imposed on employers who ‎fail to ensure compliance with the new rules.‎

As a result of the new rules, it may therefore be necessary to revise the workplace smoking policy to ‎ensure compliance with the new rules.‎

The Danish Anti-Smoking Act provides that employers must prepare a written workplace smoking policy ‎which must be accessible to all employees. The policy must as a minimum specify whether and where ‎smoking is allowed, as well as inform employees of the consequences of non-compliance. The Danish ‎Working Environment Authority will monitor whether employers issue a written policy which meets the ‎new requirements, and non-compliance is punishable by a fine.‎

The above does not constitute legal advice and should not be relied upon as such

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