How smoking could cost you a job
Image Tobacco companies try to woo smokers with new tobacco-less products 0:49
Tobacco companies are hoping to woo smokers with a new array of devices like Philip Morris International’s IQOS that heat but don’t burn tobacco. Video/Photo: Merrill Sherman July 28th 2017 /display/newscorpaustralia.com/Web/NewsNetwork/Finance – syndicated/ Job advertisements seeking non smoking applicants. Picture: seek.com.au Source:Supplied IT TURNS out that every time you head out for a smoke you could be burning more than just a cigarette — job prospects could be going up in flames as well.
It is becoming more common for potential employers to overlook applicants who are fond of cigarettes in favour of non-smokers, and some even specifically state in job adverts that smokers need not apply.
Simply typing “non-smoker” into different Australian job search websites comes up with more than 100 job offers that require the applicant to be cigarette-free.
This requirement is not just restricted to a particular field either, employers for all types of professions want their employees to be nonsmokers, including electricians, office workers, house keepers, truck drivers, dental assistants, landscapers and receptionists. Job advertising a housekeeping position in Sydney specifies a non smoking applicant. Picture: seek.com.au Source:Supplied
Some argue that specifying an applicant must be a non-smoker amounts to discrimination, but in fact it is totally legal for an employer to do so.
Anti-discrimination laws in Australia prevent discrimination based on race, age, sex, disability, sexual preference, martial status and family and carer situations.
Smoking doesn’t fall into any of these categories so smokers aren’t covered under Australian law, meaning it is acceptable for employers to include it in their hiring requirements.
Though there is talk about whether addictions can be considered a disability or impairment, and whether a nicotine addiction could fall into this category.
“We have recently seen some decisions coming out where ‘addiction’ has been considered a form of disability,” Shine Lawyers’ employment law expert Christie Toy told ABC .
“These type of decisions include addiction to drugs and gambling. A similar case would need to be run about smoking, and it would need to be established that it creates an addiction that is viewed as a disability or impairment.” Advertisement for a reception job. Picture: seek.com.au Source:Supplied Advertisement for an electrician. Picture: seek.com.au Source:Supplied
The rise in the number of job advertisements specifying non-smoking applicants has divided opinion online.
“If that’s how they want to run their business they have every right to do so. They could have allergies or sensitivities, or just don’t want the smell in the office (which is fair — who would???),” one person wrote on Facebook.
One person said they would “only work for companies with non smoking policies”.
Another said: “Their company, their job placement, they are paying the wages so I guess they are entitled to ask for a non smoker.”
But other people said that as long as an employee’s smoking habits don’t interrupt their work then it shouldn’t be an issue.
“I don’t think it’s anyone’s business what you do in your own time. I think it’s fair to say no smoke breaks. But not no smokers,” a person said.
“I would say this would be discrimination. They can stipulate no smoking in work time but not that someone cannot smoke,” another wrote.
Employers do have to be careful when deciding what information to add into a job listing so as not to either directly, or indirectly, discriminate on a number of grounds.
According to the Sex Discrimination Act is unlawful to publish an advertisement that discriminates on the grounds of “sex, marital status, pregnancy and/or potential pregnancy”.
Specifying a preferred race or age of applicant is also against the law. trending in finance