Alcohol at Work continued

Step 2 Decide what to do

A good start is to ask yourself the following four questions:

Question 1 Am I happy for my employees to drink alcohol…

… during working hours?
Yes / No / Depends on…?

… during lunch and other breaks?
Yes / No / Depends on…?

… on special occasions?
Yes / No / Depends on…?

… when entertaining clients?
Yes / No / Depends on…?

Question 2 Do I expect the same from staff working in safety-sensitive jobs when it comes to not drinking alcohol as I do from staff working in non-safety-sensitive jobs or management positions?

Question 3 How would I deal with an employee who is finding it difficult to control his or her drinking and whose work is suffering as a result?

Question 4 How would I deal with an employee who turns up for work drunk or flouts known restrictions on drinking alcohol?

Step 3 Taking action

In taking action, you need to ensure that you have the support of other managers and gain the support of your employees. The personal involvement of the boss will also make a huge difference when it comes to introducing any changes. The most important questions are:

  • What needs to be done?
  • Who needs to do it?

You also need to think about communication and training. How will current staff and any recruited in the future know the company’s rules about drinking? Does anyone need more information or training?

Supervisors and other managers need to be clear about company rules and what to do if they suspect employees’ drinking is affecting their work. They also need to be aware of the implications of not tackling possible alcohol misuse, especially where safety is an issue. Your local alcohol advisory service may be able to help train managers to recognise if someone has an alcohol problem and the best way to handle the situation. The service may charge for training.

Many larger organisations have a policy that describes their position on employees’ drinking. A written alcohol policy has many advantages, for example leaving less room for misunderstanding than an informal ‘understanding’

Step 4 – Checking what you have done

As with any other kind of initiative, you should regularly check if it is working and whether any changes need to be made.

Summary checklist

  1. Find out it you have a problem.
  2. Make a list of who you need to consult.
  3. Decide how your company expects employees to limit their drinking.
  4. Consider how you can make sure that if an employee has a possible alcohol problem, this is noticed and help is offered.
  5. Decide at what point and in what circumstances you will treat an employee’s drinking as a matter for discipline rather than a health problem.
  6. Think about how you will let your workforce know about company policy on alcohol – consider introducing a formal written alcohol policy.
  7. Find out if any of your managers or other staff need more information or training.
  8. Consider providing staff with general information about alcohol and health.

For further information on Alcohol at Work or how to implement policies,

please contact qsuk limited on 0800 458 9421

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