View Full Version : Smokefree Guidance

15-02-2008, 02:47 PM
I found this on the NCMA website: (I have copied and pasted)

Smokefree legislation – how does it affect childminders and nannies?

The provisions of section 2 of the Health Act 2006 which prohibits smoking at places of work will come into effect in England on Sunday 1 July 2007. Similar provisions were introduced in Wales on 2 April 2007. The purpose of the law is to protect employees and the public from the harmful effects of second-hand smoke.

Registered childminders already have to comply with the National Standards for Under-8s Day Care and Childminding which provide that neither they, nor others in the childminder’s home, may smoke in the presence of children at any time.

Under the new law, private dwellings do not have to be smoke-free, unless there are parts used solely as a place of work by more than one person. The Smokefree (Exemptions and Vehicles) Regulations 2007 set out how the exemptions will apply. There are two provisions which will affect nannies and childminders; regulation 3 which covers private accommodation, and regulation 11 which covers vehicles.

If the new law does apply to your home or vehicle you must:

· put all the required no smoking signs in place
· make your family, friends, visitors, children’s parents, and any assistants aware that your premises and / or vehicles used for work are legally required to be smokefree
· take reasonable steps to meet the requirements of the law e.g. by training your assistants to understand the new law and what their responsibilities are.

You may also wish to introduce a smokefree policy. This can be a verbal understanding between you and your assistants and other relevant people; incorporated into any existing health and safety policy; or you may wish to draft a separate written policy.

WARNING: NCMA has heard of a company that has stated that childminders will need a written policy from a trained professional and offered a service costing £99 + VAT per childminder to write a policy and give them a booklet and stickers for the house and car. Please note that this is not a legal requirement and if you do decide to have a policy, you can draft your own. The signage for premises and cars is all available to download free of charge from www.smokefreeengland.co.uk or, again, you can design your own, providing they meet the size requirements.

Paragraph 3(2)(a) provides that all work undertaken solely to provide personal care for a person living in a private dwelling is excluded from the provision that any part of the dwelling which is used solely as a place of work is smokefree. So there is no legal requirement for parents employing either a daily or live-in nanny not to smoke in their own home if the nanny is present. Nannies therefore have no protection from second-hand smoke.

Nannies who are NCMA members agree not to smoke while working with children. In England, those nannies who have been registered on the voluntary part of the Ofsted Childcare Register, which was introduced in April 2007, have to meet a health and safety requirement that they will not smoke when caring for children or in the presence of children.

NCMA’s advice to nannies and their employers is that they should seek to come to an agreement about whether, when and where smoking may take place in the home.

The application of the smokefree legislation to vehicles is unlikely to affect most nannies. However, if the nanny uses a vehicle when working, for instance, one provided by their employer, and the same vehicle is also used for work purposes by another employee such as a tradesperson, that vehicle must be smoke-free. Nannies in this situation do have the right to work in a smoke-free environment and are advised to discuss the matter with their employer.

The ways in which the regulations will affect childminders will depend primarily on two points:
· whether they work alone
· whether the part of the premises they work in is used solely as a place of work or not.

Childminders working alone
Generally, when a registered childminder is working alone in their own home, the premises will not have to be smoke-free. This means that the childminder, members of their family, visitors etc will be able to smoke in the premises when children are not present.

This will be the case whether the premises are wholly designated as a domestic property or whether some areas of the home have been designated exclusively for childminding and are liable for business charges such as capital gains tax or the business rate of council tax.

Childminders employing an assistant
For childminders employing an assistant, the situation may be different. If the area they work in is not designated exclusively for childminding, (i.e. it is not used solely as a place of work but reverts to domestic use at the end of the working day), it does not have to be smoke-free.

If, however, the childminder and assistant work in a part of the premises that is solely used for childminding e.g. a garage or purpose-built extension which acts as a playroom, this area must be smoke-free.

Home scenarios

Q1. I am a registered childminder working on my own. Can my family smoke in the house when the children aren’t here?

A. Yes. It is not the government’s intention to prevent people from smoking in their own homes.

Q2. I work as an assistant with a registered childminder. Am I entitled to work in a smoke-free environment?

A. It depends. As part of the national standards, no-one in the home may smoke when the children are present . However, if you arrive for work before the children, the new smokefree law will not protect you if anyone else is smoking on the premises. But see also Q3.

Q3. I employ an assistant and have converted my garage into a room we can work in with the children. This room is only used for my childminding. Do I have to comply with the new smokefree law?

A. Yes. As your converted garage is used solely as a place of work by a person who does not live in the dwelling (your assistant) and any person who does live in the dwelling (you), then it must be smoke-free.

Q4. I am a registered childminder and my own children have grown up and left home. I have decided to turn one of my rooms into a playroom for my minded children so that I can keep all the toys and equipment out of the way when the children go home. The children love singing and I sometimes invite the parents in to listen to them performing. Will I have to put up no smoking signs?

A. Yes. Even though you work on your own, if you invite the parents of your minded children to attend the part of the house you use for work, you must comply with the smoke-free law.

The provisions relating to vehicles are more straightforward. A vehicle must be smoke-free if it is used in the course of paid work by more than one person, even if those people use the vehicle at different times or only intermittently. However, this does not apply if a vehicle is used primarily for the private purposes of its owner. The implications of this for childminders will probably depend on the way in which the word “primarily” is interpreted.

Vehicle Scenarios
Q1. I have purchased a seven-seat people-carrier so that I can transport my minded children to school, nursery, outings etc, but use another car when not working as a childminder. Will I have to display a no-smoking sign in the people carrier?

A. Yes. The people carrier is not used primarily for private purposes and it is used by members of the public (in this case, children) so you will need to display the international no-smoking symbol in each compartment.

Q2. I use my car to transport my minded children to school, nursery, outings etc, but also use it for family purposes. Will I have to display a no-smoking sign in the car?

A. It will depend how much you use the car for each purpose. If it is primarily used for private purposes, you will not have to display a no-smoking sign and people will be able to smoke in it (when the children are not present1). However, if it is used primarily for your childminding work, no-one will be able to smoke in the vehicle at any time and you will have to display the no-smoking signage.

Q3. I work part-time as a childminder for three days a week and use my car to transport the minded children. Can other members of my family smoke when they use they car?

A. Yes. As the car is used primarily (four days a week) for private purposes, it does not have to be smoke-free.

Q4. I am a nanny and my employers have brought a car for me to use when I am looking after the children. I am also allowed to use the car on my days off. Can I smoke in the car when I am not working?

A. Yes. The regulations would only prevent you from smoking in the car on your days off if your work involves use by “members of the public”. The children of the family you work for are not “members of the public”.

Q5. I am a nanny and work for a family who also employ a cook, gardener, and handyperson. We are all allowed the use of a “staff car” for both work purposes and on our days off. Although I do not smoke, the other staff do. Can I insist that they are not allowed to smoke in the car?

A. Yes. As the car is not used primarily for the private purposes of the person who owns it, and it is used by more than one person in the course of their work, it must be smoke-free.

For more information about the new smokefree law, contact the Smokefree England information line on 0800 169 1697 or visit the website at www.smokefreeengland.co.uk. You can download a booklet entitled “Everything You Need To Prepare For The New Smokefree Law On 1 July 2007” from the website as well as the signage for your home and vehicle. You may also design your own signs, as long as they meet the minimum requirements re size etc.

The responsibility for enforcing the smokefree regulations will rest with officers of local councils (usually environmental health officers). If you need specific advice about your own circumstances you should therefore contact your local council.

15-02-2008, 02:48 PM
Thanks Vik

Miffy xx

15-02-2008, 02:50 PM
Thanks for putting this on here Vik X

15-02-2008, 02:52 PM
Thanks Vik

I hadn't heard about that company charging £99 + VAT for writing a policy etc................surely no childminder would have been silly enough to part with that kind of money :panic: :panic:

15-02-2008, 03:16 PM
Thanks Vik


15-02-2008, 03:58 PM
thank you very much vik

15-02-2008, 04:18 PM
Thanks Vik

I hadn't heard about that company charging £99 + VAT for writing a policy etc................surely no childminder would have been silly enough to part with that kind of money :panic: :panic:

Yes Dee I think they had quite a lot of business before NCMA started telling everyone what a con it was... :panic:

15-02-2008, 04:20 PM
thank for that Vik xxx

I cant believe they were charging £99 !!!!!!

16-02-2008, 03:27 PM
Yes Dee I think they had quite a lot of business before NCMA started telling everyone what a con it was... :panic:

That has shocked me that really has :eek: :eek:

I fail to see why someone would want to pay that kind of money for someone to write a policy for you

They should have come to me........I would have done it for half the price ;) :D

17-02-2008, 05:30 PM
Yes this was on the old forum - I put it there

Some childminders had parted with money too

Angel xx

19-02-2008, 04:26 PM
Really helpful, thank you.

Heaven Scent
27-02-2008, 07:09 PM
Thanks a million for that Vik I was searching for stuff like that but couldn't find it. I used to have some great posters in my office in Dublin just to wind up the smokers there it was like working in a fog some days especiallly in the winter when all the windows were closed. Then when I came here to live I tried to get my hands on some but no luick anywhere that was in 1987 though but I shared my flat with a very artistic person who made some and we plastered them alover the place. We also had one in out kitchen that pointed to the garden through the patio doors which said to the smoking area They caused quite a stir in Manchester in those days. I met my chimney pot husband at that time and since then he has never been allowed to smoke in any house we've had. I did catch him once when he had got into the habbit one winter of standing in the kitchen under the cooker hood with it on full power he managed to set fire to his towling dressing gown and then he dropped his cigarette on one of out very expensive hand made couches which we bought in an exclusive furniture shop in King Street in Manchester so that put an end to it and out in the yeard he was put again never to be let back in with a fag in hand. Anyway my point is that I can understand people buying the stuff on the internet because it is not widely known where to get it from. I've bought lots of policies and other childminding stuff just to try to save me doing it all myself. But now I've found this site I don't need to do so much of that any more because you have all been pointing me in the right direction for loads of things so thanks again I'm made up I can get my hands on that are freely available to everyone if we just know where to find them. I still want to buy some stuff from Bev though I just realised that I didn't actually order stuff from her the other week it was someone else who advertises on ebay. I know she has her own site now and as soon as I see her in a thread next I will see if I can send her a pm about what I want and how best to pay for it.

Sorry for the waffle but hope it took you mind off all you have to do