Is vaping at work gross misconduct? | Moorepay
June 28, 2023

Is vaping at work gross misconduct?

Vaping at work is a complex issue with no easy answers. Employers should carefully consider all of the relevant factors before making a decision about whether action is needed for an employee for vaping at work. By having a clear policy in place and enforcing it consistently, one can help to create a safe and productive workplace for all employees.

Vaping is often seen as a healthier alternative to smoking cigarettes, as it doesn’t produce tar or other harmful chemicals. However, there’s still limited research on the long-term health effects of vaping. But is vaping at work considered gross misconduct?

The legal status of vaping in the workplace varies from country to country. In the UK, for example, there is no specific legislation that prohibits vaping in the workplace. However, the Health Act 2006 prohibits smoking in enclosed public places and workplaces, which could be interpreted to include vaping.

Essentially, employers are free to set their own policies on vaping in the workplace. Some employers have a blanket ban on all smoking and vaping, while others allow vaping in designated areas. It’s important for employers to have a clear policy in place so that employees know what is expected of them.

Is vaping at work gross misconduct?

Whether vaping at work can be considered gross misconduct will depend on the specific circumstances of the case. Some factors that employers may consider include the following:

  • The employee’s intent:¬†Has the employee had a clear chance to understand the workplace’s rules around vaping and therefore know they were breaking a rule?
  • The location of the vaping: Was the employee vaping in a designated area or in a prohibited area?
  • The impact of the vaping on others: Did the vaping cause any disruption or annoyance to other employees?
  • Other cases of disciplinary actions:¬†Has anyone else been disciplined for vaping? Are employees being treated consistently?¬†

Ultimately, the decision of whether to dismiss an employee for vaping at work is a matter for the employer. However, employers should carefully consider all of the relevant factors before making a decision.

Recommendations for HR professionals

Be prepared to take disciplinary action against employees who violate the policy.  Depending on the circumstances, this may include informal resolution, a warning or even termination of employment.

  • Have a clear policy on vaping in the workplace. This policy should be communicated to all employees and should be updated as needed.
  • Enforce the policy consistently. If you allow some employees to vape at work and not others, you are setting yourself up for problems.
  • Be prepared to take disciplinary action against employees who violate the policy. This may include a warning, suspension, or termination of employment.
  • Educate employees about the risks of vaping.¬†This includes the potential health risks and the legal implications of vaping in the workplace.

But seriously, though…

Vaping at work can be a distraction and a nuisance to other employees. It can also be a health hazard, especially if the employee is vaping indoors. If you’re an employer, it is important to have a clear policy on vaping in the workplace and to enforce it consistently. By doing so, you can help to create a safe and productive workplace for all employees

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Benjamin Brown
About the author

Benjamin Brown

Benjamin is the Digital Marketing Executive at Moorepay. He recently joined the team after graduating with an MSc is Advertising. He has experience in advertising, copywriting, content creation and marketing.

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