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Southport Reporter® covering the news on Merseyside.

Date:- 19 February 2007

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Firms not to let smoking ban drag them down

LIVERPOOL-BASED recruitment firm SkyBlue is urging companies to start considering the implications of the new UK smoking ban which will begin on July 1.  As the start of the UK smoking ban draws nearer SkyBlue, an award-winning firm which has an office in Liverpool is advising companies to start considering the implications of the new laws in the workplace.

“From the 1 July all indoor smoking rooms will be banned, which are still common in many workplaces, meaning that from July 2007, anyone who wishes to smoke at work must go outside.  As a leading supplier in the employment industry we know that it is not only the responsibility of companies to inform their own work force - the recruitment industry has a duty as well.  It is important for employers to ensure all of their work force understands the legal ramifications of the ban.  We strongly suggest businesses to inform everyone in the workplace as to how the new legislation will affect them.” said Liverpool branch manager Paul Quinn. 

According to the new law, if you're caught smoking in a banned area you could be fined £50 and those in charge of the premises could face a £2,500 fine if they fail to stop you.  On-the-spot fines of £200 could also be charged if for failing to display no-smoking signs, with the penalty increasing to £1,000 if the issue goes to court.

Paul adds:- “With so many of the countries work force made up of temporary workers moving from work place to workplace it is up to the recruitment industry to take responsibility and to insure every one understands and follows the laws in place.”

For more information on how to implement your own workplace smoking policy check out this link.


REACTING to the announcement by care services minister, Ivan Lewis, of a new system of training for care workers and the extension of social care registration, UNISON North West Head of Local Government, ray Short, said:- “Registration is an important public protection measure that ensures workers are suitably trained and fit to work in social care. It could be a positive lever to raise the status and professional standing of the 750,000 workers who deliver care in residential settings and in people’s homes.

It will only work, however, if employers must provide the paid time and support for their staff to achieve their qualifications and if the employers accept that they must pay the registration fees. Private sector estimates suggest that as few as 10% of homecare staff are currently qualified to NVQ2 level.  And, because they are low paid workers, they can ill afford to pay a registration fee.

We will support members through registration and negotiate to ensure that employers pay the fees, provide paid time off, cover and support for these essential workers to complete their training.

Finally, the Government must make sure that it does not allow the development of a shadow unregulated sector, by failing to require registration for workers employed under direct payments and individual budget’s arrangements.”

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