Jennifer Smith (Employment Solicitor)

It’s a problem for employers, without a World Cup thrown in!

With drink increasingly becoming a common place feature of many people’s daily social lives (particularly in the 16 -29 age group), the impact is leaking into the workplace.

A business will suffer if any employee drinks during working hours in such a way that the work suffers e.g. a boozy client lunch. A business will also suffer if an employee phones in sick after a heavy night drinking the night before, or who comes to work with a hangover.

Lower productivity, accidents, effect of team morale and employee relations, sickness, lateness, absenteeism and adverse effects on company performance, image and customer relations are problems that immediately spring to my mind.

Employers should tackle the issue head on, and should avoid burying their head in the sand. They should have an alcohol & drugs policy – they should be wary of forcing employees to undertake alcohol testing.