Workplaces (including shopping centres & restaurants)
Impact of new law
- Q1: Who is affected by the law?
Everyone that works or visits a workplace is required to abide by the smoking ban in enclosed workplaces, including:
- Voluntary workers
‘Workplace’ means any premises or area where one or more employees or self-employed persons (or both) work, whether or not they receive any payment for that work’. This includes premises such as brothels or areas such as enclosed car parks.
- Q2: What does 'enclosed' mean?
Enclosed means an area, room or premises that is or are substantially enclosed by a roof and walls, regardless of whether the roof or walls or any part of them are:
- permanent or temporary;
- open or closed.
- Q3: Are any workplaces exempt from the law?
Yes. Exemptions include the following:
- residential premises not used for carrying on a business;
- a part of a residential premises used for carrying on a business while only persons who reside at the premises are in that part (that is, no non-resident employees or members of the public are present);
- a place of business occupied by the sole operator and which is not for the use of the public;
- outdoor dining or drinking areas;
- a vehicle;
- personal sleeping or living areas of:
- a premises providing accommodation to members of the public for a fee (e.g. hotel); or
- residential care facilities which include types of residential care services, supported residential services and aged care services;
- an area in an approved mental health service (within the meaning of the Mental Health Act 1986) declared by the Secretary;
- prison cells as well as exercise yards of prisons;
- a detention centre established for the purposes of the Migration Act 1958 (Cth);
- high roller rooms at the Casino.
- Q4: Are employees working in the hospitality industry covered under this law?
Restaurants and cafes that are currently required to be smoke-free will continue to be required to be smoke-free. Enclosed licensed premises are required to be smoke-free. Refer to Outdoor dining or drinking for further information.
See the Licensed premises page for further details on licensed premises.
- Q5: Is smoking permitted outside?
Yes. As long as the outside area is not substantially enclosed, smoking is permitted in these areas.
- Q6: What about a factory or garage with open roller doors?
An enclosed workplace is required to be smoke-free, regardless of whether the roof or walls are permanent, temporary, open or closed.
- Q7: Can staff smoke in staff rooms, lunchrooms, cafeterias or restrooms?
Smoking is not permitted in any enclosed area of the workplace. Therefore in most cases, smoking will not be permitted in these areas at any time.
- Q8: Can staff and visitors smoke in car parks?
If a car park is substantially enclosed by a roof and walls, smoking is not permitted in workplace car parks.
- Q9: Are employers required to display No Smoking signs in enclosed workplaces?
The occupier of a retail shopping centre, bingo area/centre, casino or an enclosed restaurant/café, must display acceptable No Smoking signs. See the Resources page for further information on No Smoking signs.
Other employers are not required by law to display No Smoking signs. However, it is recommended that No Smoking signs are displayed to ensure employees and visitors are aware of where smoking bans apply.
- Q10: Who should I contact if people are still smoking in my workplace?
It is expected that all enclosed workplaces not exempt from the law be smoke-free and that, where appropriate, workplaces will adopt a smoke-free policy.
If smoking continues you can contact the Department of Health's Tobacco Information Line on 1300 136775 to report a breach.
- Q11: What are the penalties for not abiding by the new law?
Breach of Tobacco Laws Infringement Notice Maximum Penalties the in
Natural Person Body corporate Natural Person Body corporate Person smoking in an enclosed workplace
1 PU-5 PU
Person in charge of the enclosed workplace at the time the smoking occurs
2 PU-10 PU
Occupier of a retail shopping centre, bingo area/centre, casino or an enclosed restaurant/café, where acceptable No Smoking signs are not displayed
2 PU5 PU10 PU
Note: PU = penalty unit/s
- Q12: What is the value of a penalty unit?
The value of a penalty unit is indexed annually. For the current value please see Legislation & Regulations.
- Q13: Are there any defences?
Yes. The person in charge of the enclosed workplace at the time the smoking occurs is not guilty of an offence if he/she can prove that they did not provide an ashtray, matches, lighter or any other thing designed to facilitate smoking and that:
- they were not aware, and could not reasonably be expected to have been aware, that smoking was occurring; or
- they requested the person to stop smoking and informed the person they were committing an offence.