Where an employer provides company cars to its employees, is it obliged to make the cars no-smoking areas under the smoke-free legislation?
Under the smoke-free legislation a vehicle must be smoke free if it is used in the course of paid or voluntary work by more than one person, even if those persons use it at different times or only intermittently. However, a vehicle will not be used "in the course of paid or voluntary work" if it is used primarily for the employee's private purposes and the right to use it is not restricted to a particular journey, so such a car will not be required to be smoke free under the legislation. The legislation does not, however, define "primarily for private use" or "particular journey" and it would be for the courts to decide exactly what these mean. Vehicles that are required to be smoke free under the legislation must be smoke free at all times.
From 1 October 2015, it is illegal to smoke in a car, or other vehicle, when someone under the age of 18 is present. It is the responsibility of the driver to prevent passengers from smoking. The driver and the person smoking can both be fined £50. It is not the duty of the employer to ensure that a car that is primarily for the employee's private use is smoke free when someone under 18 is present.
Employers are at liberty to introduce a company policy designating all company cars as smoke free. This is not, however, required by the legislation.