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SMOKING

Swiss school eyes longer holidays for non-smoking staff

Staff at a school in the canton of Basel Country who provide a positive role model by not smoking should receive an extra week's holiday, one member of staff has suggested.

Swiss school eyes longer holidays for non-smoking staff
File photo: Flickr

Positive examples are critical when it comes to getting teenagers interested in health issues, the head of social pedagogy department at the Schillingsrain Schulheim said in a submission to management.

The idea of offering non-smoking staff an extra five days’ holiday a year would reward non-smokers while giving tobacco-addicted staff an incentive to kick habit, the education expert said.

Management at the school which places a strong emphasis on healthy and sustainable living will look at proposal after the summer holidays, regional daily the Basler Zeitung reported.

Smokers who take four cigarette breaks a day can be away from their desks for an extra half an hour daily, the paper said. However, non-smokers also find plenty of ways to distract themselves including taking extra trips to the coffee machine or checking Facebook.

A union contacted by the Basler Zeitung said they had been contacted by companies looking at such a scheme and that firms set their own rules when it came to smoking breaks.

What do you think of a plan to give non-smokers more holidays? Tell us in the comments section below.

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SMOKING

No smoking? Swiss canton cracks down on employee cigarette breaks

From February 1st, 2020, government workers in the Swiss canton of Ticino will be required to punch a clock every time they want to have a cigarette.

No smoking? Swiss canton cracks down on employee cigarette breaks
Photo: Depositphotos

The move has been justified as a way of improving employee productivity, with proponents of the new law arguing that too much time is being lost to frequent employee cigarette breaks. 

Advocates also argue that non-smokers are penalised under the current system. 

Under the current law, employees are entitled to two 15-minute breaks per day. While employees will not need to punch the clock if they smoke during this time, all smoking outside these two break periods will be measured. 

The law will also see ashtrays removed from outside government buildings. 

The law will initially apply to the cantonal and governmental parliament buildings, but is set to be expanded to other government buildings throughout the canton in future. 

Fabio Badasci, from the Ticino League, said that the move was justified not only due to productivity concerns – but was needed in order to be fair to all workers. 

Badasci told Swiss news site Le Temps “continuous absences from work for smoking represent unequal treatment between smokers and non-smokers – and (result in) a loss of productivity”. 

Smoking has been forbidden in enclosed areas in Switzerland since 2010, although the country is still considered to be one of the most ‘smoke friendly’ in Europe. 

Swiss train stations only went smoke free in 2019, with the installation of airport-style smoking areas on many platforms. 

READ: Swiss train stations go 'smoke free' in 2019

An estimated 27 percent of Swiss residents smoke. 

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