Control of Tobacco Products and Electronic Delivery Systems Bill
The above mentioned Bill was published for public comment on 09 May 2018, until 08 August 2018. The legislature will consider the public comments received and then decide if the Bill is to be amended or not. The Bill will repeal the Tobacco Products Control Act 83 of 1993 in its entirety. The Bill aims to align statute and regulations to the World Health Organization’s Convention on Tobacco Control.
The Bill has far wider reaching implications for the tobacco industry and has been met with mixed reactions. From an employment law point of view, smoking is far more strictly controlled. No person may smoke in an enclosed place or workplace. “Enclosed”, in essence, means any place, whether temporary or permanent, which has a roof or a ceiling, but also areas or spaces which do not have a roof.
The employer may designate the whole or any part of any outdoor space where smoking is prohibited. The provisions apply equally to an “electronic delivery system”, meaning an electronically operated cigarette. It is the employer’s responsibility to ensure that no person smokes in a prohibited area. Fines and imprisonment are provided for offences.
Section 2(6) of the Bill provides that the employer must ensure that -
· employees may object to smoking in the workplace in contravention of the Act, without retaliation;
· employees who do not want to be exposed to tobacco smoke, are not so exposed;
· it is not made in condition of employment that any employee is obliged to work in an area where smoking is lawfully permitted.
Smoking policies will have to be revisited and revised. One burning question of course remains when may smokers smoke – during working hours, and if so should this time be managed by the likes of a clocking mechanism, or only during meal / rest intervals? For more information, or to have your current policy reviewed please contact one of our Consultants.
Kusile Consulting Services
011 609 2630
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