More bad news for South African smokers.
The new draft law, which could see you jailed up to three months for smoking in public, is aiming to enforce new restrictions on smoking in your own homes.
One important thing to bear in mind with regards that proposal – that’s if you have an employee on the premises, or you’re working with kids.
[The draft Control of Tobacco Products and Electronic Delivery Systems Bill, published for comment on May 9] also aims to address smoking in the work place, which is defined in the act as ‘any place in or on which one or more persons are employed and perform their work, whether for compensation or voluntary’.
According to a report by The Star, this includes employers who smoke in the presence of their domestic workers or gardeners on their premises. In addition, it notes that you may not smoke in your home if you use it for teaching, tutoring or commercial childcare.
In that aspect, that’s great for non-smokers.
For smokers, though … not so much.
The Health Department’s Popo Maja is trying to emphasise the positives of the situation – or pouring more oil on troubled waters, depending on your interpretation.
He said that the bill seeks to ensure that employees are treated equally, including those working in private spaces:
“A private space used as a workplace will be regulated like other workplaces,” Maja said.
He added that employees had the right to object without fear of retaliation if they were exposed to smoke. Workers were already empowered to stand up for their rights if they refused to be exposed to tobacco smoke.
“The bill is just making a policy statement. The regulations will be developed to unpack the intention of the clause,” he said.
In other words, put that in your pipe and smoke it.
Smokers are sure as hell not gonna take this news well.
While disaster management might be needed to sort out this latest bone of contention, you and your employees need to make yourself aware of the T&Cs in the meantime.
We covered the list of rules a while back, so you can read and familiarise yourselves with them here.
‘Til then, the smoking law debate continues to rage on.
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