In Sparrow v St Andrews Homes Ltd, a nurse who alleged that her asthma was caused by patients' tobacco smoke lost the first "passive smoking" case ever to go to trial in England or Wales. But, in rejecting Sylvia Sparrow's claim for damages at the High Court in Manchester, Mr Justice Holland was at pains to point out that he was not setting any kind of precedent for passive-smoking claims.
An employer's failure to ban smoking in a poorly ventilated workplace, after it became clear that measures already introduced to resolve the problem of passive smoking were inadequate, was in repudiatory breach of an implied contractual term that it would provide and monitor for its employees, so far as reasonably practicable, a working environment which was reasonably suitable for the performance of their contractual duties, holds the EAT in Waltons & Morse v Dorrington.
In the absence of any specific express or implied contractual term giving employees a "right to smoke", an employer is at liberty to introduce a smoking ban in its workplace by amending its working rules, holds the EAT in Dryden v Greater Glasgow Health Board.
HR and legal information and guidance relating to smoking in the work environment.