I visit people in their own homes. Is that covered by the smoking ban?

Workers visiting clients in their home are not directly covered by the provisions of the Health Act. While there should be no attempt to restrict the right of individuals to take part in a legal activity in their own homes, workers also have a right not to be exposed to second-hand tobacco smoke, so employers should try to ensure that workers are protected when visiting clients in their homes.

Many organisations whose staff visit clients in their own home have asked any service users or clients who are visited regularly not to smoke for a certain period prior to any pre-arranged visit and during a visit. The client should also ensure that no-one living in the house with them smokes at that time. Clearly where a client or patient is suffering from dementia or some other illnesses this may be difficult to enforce and some tact may be required.

Note: This content is provided as general background information and should not be taken as legal advice or financial advice for your particular situation. Make sure to get individual advice on your case from your union, a source on our free help page or an independent financial advisor before taking any action.