Introduction to this document

Alcohol policy

With 17 million sick leave days being taken a year due to alcohol misuse, it’s vital that you have a policy in place that sets out some ground rules for staff. Ours covers the key areas.

Alcohol at work

According to the Alcohol Concern Quarterly Information and Research Bulletin for Winter 2006, 17 million alcohol-related sick days are taken each year (around 15% of the total number of days lost). So it’s hardly surprising that alcohol misuse is a real concern to many employers. For this reason, you should consider introducing an Alcohol Policy. This sets out some ground rules for your staff not only with regard to drinking during working hours, but also coming to work whilst under the influence of alcohol.

An effective policy

As with our other policies, it begins with a general introductory statement that acknowledges the importance of providing a safe place and a safe system of work for staff; particularly in light of the changes to licensing laws which took effect towards the end of 2005. The second section links the relationship between alcohol and health and safety issues, whilst the third focuses on the circumstances where alcohol consumption is banned during working hours, e.g. for those who drive on company business. Section four retains the right to not only bring disciplinary proceedings against those who breach this policy, but to summarily dismiss for instances of gross misconduct. However, this section needs to operate alongside the fifth which sets out what you’ll do in terms of advice and counselling for those that do have a genuine problem. The final section allows you to retain the right to transfer an employee with an alcohol dependency problem to another role.