From the beginning of February 2020, employees working for the canton of Ticino will need to clock out if they want to go for a cigarette break, according to RTS.
The new rule, which is the first of its kind in Switzerland, follows comments made last year by a parliamentarian who pointed out the favourable treatment smokers enjoy – smokers take time off work to indulge in their smoking habit but are paid the same as those who don’t.
Now everyone will be restricted to two 15 minute breaks a day. Additional breaks will require clocking out.
In 2007, Ticino became the first canton in Switzerland to ban smoking in public places.
In the UK, a company recently decided to give non-smokers an extra fours days of paid holiday, according to the BBC. Managing director of the recruitment firm in Swindon said “I’m not discriminating against anyone. What I’m saying is if you take a smoke break, fine, take a smoke break. But if you say it’s three 10-minute smoke breaks a day that equates to 16 and a quarter days a year based on an eight-hour working day.”
Swiss authorities might also one day consider bumping up the amount deducted from smokers’ salaries for sickness and disability to cover the increased health risks associated with the habit.