The Hammersmith and Fulham Council in West London has banned employees from smoking at working desks even when working online from home. Campaigners call the move a “moral crusade” and accused the council of “waging a war on choice.”
The Hammersmith and Fulham council, run by The left-wing Labor Party, announced that “any part of a private dwelling used solely for work purposes will be required to be smoke-free.”
This news comes just as a report dubbed “Smokefree Ideology – How local authorities are waging war on choice and personal freedom” is about to be released. The report reveals that councils are imposing strict policies on employees.
According to the author of the report, Josie Appleton, these restrictions are not about the health dangers of smoking. They are a “moral crusade” against smoking, which is perceived as a “shameful activity.”
Appleton said that councils should focus on delivering public services instead of “interfering in the lifestyle choices of their employees,” especially when they’re working from home.
On the other hand, the councils insist that strict smoking policies are for the greater good. Councilor Ian Hudspeth, the chair of the Local Government Association’s Community Well-being board, said that these policies make the councils “responsible employers.”
A source inside the Hammersmith and Fulham Council, speaking to The Telegraph, said the smoking ban for staff working from home would be replaced and that no employee had been punished for ignoring the policy.