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PRESS INFORMATION - Press enquiries to Sam Dabbs on 07050 108985

DWF145/06
4 September 2006

Firms face £2,500 fine in smoking clampdown

Employees caught lighting up in the office or in their company car could be fined £50 in a new government crackdown on smoking at work, warns law firm DWF.

“The draft regulations will effectively ban smoking rooms and employers who do not comply could face fines up of up £2,500,” says Sarah Clayton, associate with DWF. “Smoking will be prohibited in all enclosed or partially enclosed workplaces and in company cars unless it is a vehicle used by only one driver or it is a convertible and the roof is open.”

Employees or visitors who are caught smoking will be subject to a fixed penalty of £50 – £30 if paid within 15 days. Those who fail to pay up could be fined up to £200 and end up with a criminal record.

Meanwhile employers will be obliged to display a no smoking sign or face a fixed penalty of £200. Where this is unpaid or challenged, they could be fined up to £1,000 and be deemed to have committed a crime. Those who fail to take reasonable steps to prevent smoking could be fined up to £2,500.

Clayton adds: “The rules in their current format represent the toughest measures yet to combat smoking at work. Employers need to consider how they would implement the regulations throughout company premises and vehicles to ensure they can comply with the law.”

The Smoke-Free (General Provisions) Regulations are currently at the consultation stage, which ends on 9 October 2006.

-ENDS-

Notes to editors:

DWF is one of the fastest growing law firms in the UK, with over 350 legal advisers (including 69 partners) and 600 staff based in Manchester and Liverpool. DWF is the largest law firm in the North West based on the number of NW based fee earners as reported in the latest Legal 500 directory.

DWF services cover the following areas, delivered by specialist teams – including leading experts in their field:

Banking & Asset finance
Business Recovery
Corporate & Commercial
Dispute Resolution
Employment Law
Health, Safety & Environment
Insurance
Property & Construction
Wealthcare

We have developed extensive sector-specific expertise in a number of areas and have created specialist groups to enable our clients to benefit from this expertise.

Further information on DWF is available via www.dwf.co.uk

Media enquiries to:

Sam Dabbs
Dabbs PR & Marketing
T: 01939 210503 or 07050 108985
E: sam@dabbsprm.com

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