In a report entitled ‘A Potent Cocktail’, the Trades Union Congress (TUC) warned that people are consuming more alcohol now than ever before, but few employers have alcohol policies in place to tackle any problems that might arise.
The report was the TUC’s response to an initiative by the Cabinet Office and the Department of Health to look at ways to tackle the issue of alcohol in the workplace.
The TUC report followed an Alcohol Concern survey, which revealed that 60 per cent of employers reported experiencing problems with employees as a result of alcohol consumption. A survey by the Chartered Institute of Personnel Development found that 43 per cent of employers did not have an alcohol policy.
Research by the Institute of Alcohol Studies estimates that long-term sickness, unemployment and premature death due to alcohol abuse cost the UK economy around £6.4 billion a year and that 17 million working days are lost annually due to alcohol-related absence.
This is a problem that seems to be getting worse. Employers who do not have an alcohol policy are advised to draw one up.