Smoking in virtual meetings and cars to be forbidden for council staff

The changes agreed by trade unions were intended to reflect hybrid working.

Smoking in virtual meetings and cars to be forbidden for Falkirk Council staff iStock

Smoking while on camera in virtual meetings will be forbidden for Falkirk Council staff – even if they are in their own homes.

Staff will also be told that they should not be smoking in their own cars when they are on council business.

The new rules were agreed by members of Falkirk Council’s executive on Tuesday, as they agreed to update the council’s smoke-free policy.

The changes suggested – and agreed by trade unions – were intended to reflect hybrid working that is common now.

Karen Algie, acting director of Transformation, Communities and Corporate Services, said: “There should be no smoking when you are representing the council in virtual meetings.

“Clearly if you are in your own home you can smoke and do as you wish but if you are there representing the council the policy is suggesting that you should not be smoking.”

The report recognised that enforcing the policy will not be straightforward and “further work on this is already in play”.

Members heard that the council’s policy follows legislation passed by the Scottish Government – Smoking, Health and Social Care (Scotland) Act 2005 – which prohibits smoking in certain public places and grounds including the majority of workplaces.

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