Starting from Dec 1, Skylark Group, which operates family restaurants, will prohibit employees from not only smoking at its head office, but also ban smoking while they commute to work from the headquarters’ nearest train and bus stations.
Skylark, which is Japan's largest restaurant chain operator with 3,079 establishments nationwide, has already removed all smoking spaces inside and in outdoor areas, such as the roof, at its Tokyo head office in Musashino City, Fuji TV reported.
Concerning the ban on employees smoking while on their way to work, while warnings will be issued to those who break the smoke-free policy (if they are found out), the company has stated it will not impose penalties as it would be an infringement of personal freedom and their private lives.
Upon hearing of the new initiative, one Skylark employee commented, “I will have to get used to the smoking ban when it comes into effect in December.” When asked whether he supported the ban, he said, “It can’t be helped.”
At Skylark’s restaurant chains Gusto and Jonathan’s, indoor smoking bans have already been implemented either fully or partially (i.e. separate eating areas for smokers).
The company said it announced the latest smoking ban in an effort to improve its employees' health and said it hopes employees will see the benefits of the policy. E-cigarettes are also included in the ban.© Japan Today