From 1 July 2007 it will be a criminal offence to smoke in smoke free premises in England. (The ban comes in earlier in Wales and Northern Ireland and is already in place in Scotland). For employers who control or are concerned in the management of smoke free premises, it will be an offence to fail to prevent a person smoking on those premises. There has been much media interest in this new legislation, but what effect will the new legislation actually have for employers? This edition of employment highlights will look at: What is the extent of the prohibition? What enforcement action can be taken against employers? What defences will an employer have? What steps will an employer have to take prior to 1 July?