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In an ideal world make our feelings known and have her decide for herself that the job is worth quitting or drastically reducing her smoking for.
Can we give a kind of ultimatum, or is our only real option to terminate with 1 week notice and not tell her why?
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Many thanks for your patience. Of course there is nothing stopping you from having an honest discussion with the employee in the hope that she reconsiders her actions and understands that her habit is unwelcome in the workplace and that she would change it to fit within the culture of your company and save her job. This is the most diplomatic approach to start with and depending on her commitment it could resolve the situation without the need for further intervention.
However, if that is not possible, and you believe this is an issue that means this person is not suitable to continue working there, you can actually consider terminating her employment. If she has been continuously employed at her place of work for less than 2 years then her employment rights will be quite limited. Most importantly, she will not be protected against unfair dismissal. This means that you can dismiss her for more or less any reason, and without following a fair procedure, as long as their decision is not based on discriminatory grounds (i.e. because of gender, race, religion, age, a disability, sexual orientation, etc.) or because she was trying to assert any of her statutory rights (e.g. requesting maternity leave, etc.). Smoking would not be covered by any of these so she won’t be able to challenge the dismissal.
If the dismissal had nothing to do with any of the above exceptions then she would not be able to challenge it and her only protection would be if she was not paid her contractual notice period, because unless she was dismissed for gross misconduct, she would be entitled to receive her contractual notice period. If she did not have a written contract in place she would be entitled to the minimum statutory notice period of 1 week. You would either have to allow her to work that notice period and pay her as normal, or pay her in lieu of notice.
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That's perfect, thanks a lot!