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Warning: Smoking could seriously harm your company's wealth (continued)

Date: 13 June 2007

The ban starts 1 July

Come 1 July smoking in the workplace will be banned in England. John Mahoney lists the 10 steps you should take to comply with the new legislation

5. Stick to the rules

Your job isn't done once you've stickered everything in sight. New additions to your fleet will need to comply with the legislation, too, and could easily be an expensive oversight. Local authorities, councils, health authorities have been given the power to fine, while the Department of Health has £29.5m to train and recruit officers, many of which will be undercover, to ensure the new rules are not flouted. (The table right shows how much it could cost individuals.)

6. Educate your staff

Ignorance is no defence, but your employees will no doubt rely on it should any of them feel aggrieved that the company isn't taken the new law seriously. Make sure you and any line managers communicate clearly and verbally what the new rules entail.

7. Update the driver's handbook

You've told the staff verbally, now put it in writing, and make all drivers sign an agreement to comply.

8. Have a chain of discipline

No, this isn't something to thwack the disobedient with. Make sure staff know the internal disciplinary consequences if the law and company rules are broken. For example, be clear what constitutes a written warning.

9. Support employees giving up smoking

A smoke-free workforce will make your job easier, so it's worthwhile supporting staff trying to kick the habit with initiatives such as counselling.

10. Swap cars for subs

Sidestep the new law by getting a fleet of submarines because they're exempt.

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