Survey reveals that the majority of employers prefer non-smokers -
A staggering 75% of potential employers said that they would recruit a non-smoker over a smoker, if the candidates were otherwise equal.
Employers' reasons not to employ a smoker included a dislike of the smell of stale smoke, the belief that smoking breaks wasted working time, health and safety concerns, fears that smokers were more likely to be absent because of illness and concerns that nicotine cravings may affect productivity or cause mood swings.
This is the result of a survey conducted by Rooks Rider solicitors in conjunction with the Portobello Business Centre. The Portobello Business Centre provided practical, legal and financial advice to over 1,000 start-ups and existing businesses in Kensington and Chelsea each year. Caroline provided pro bono employment law lectures on a monthly basis for over a year to the Portobello Business Centre to entrepreneurs and start up businesses.
Caroline Doran, employment law specialist at Rooks Rider, solicitors says:
"It appears that cigarette packets should also carry a warning "smoking can seriously damage your career prospects".
We were surprised that the negative view of smoking and smokers was not just limited to industries such as catering or health and beauty. Even potential employers in areas such as technology or fashion also expressed a preference for non-smoking employees.
The major concern of the potential employers we surveyed was the belief that smokers were likely to take frequent smoking breaks during working hours. One employer responded vehemently that "smokers steal my time".
Caroline commented the employers' views were expressed before the workplace ban's details had been finalised however many of their concerns will still be relevant. The comments made demonstrated that there was a general prejudice against the smell of cigarette smoke that it may be off putting to clients or customers. Also employers' concerns about the time taken off work to enjoy a cigarette, even if it is off the premises, is likely to remain a thorny problem after the legislation is introduced." IMPORTANT
- The information in this article is provided subject to the disclaimer. The law may have changed since the first publicationwww.rooksrider.co.uk