18 Jul 2016
The drunken antics of Edina Monsoon and Patsy Stone in the hit sitcom Absolutely Fabulous are world famous but The Mirror reported that the movie cast started to act like their fictional counterparts off set and had to be banned from drinking. Of course, the problem of alcohol and the workplace reaches much farther than this one motion picture and is something that HR experts Croner often receive calls from worried employers on. The example of the Absolutely Fabulous movie team being barred from drinking might seem extreme, however if there are concerns that drinking at work could lead to safety issues then an employer is wise to follow the same course of action. Concerns around drinking alcohol during working hours stem from the negative impact on performance and judgement that can arise from alcohol consumption, which could result in accidents or pose a longer–term health threat. Legally, employers need to ensure, as far as is reasonably practicable, the health, safety and welfare of employees. Should an employer permit staff under the influence of alcohol to continue working and this poses a risk to themselves or others, then the employer could be prosecuted. If a problem with alcohol in the workplace has been identified, employers should adopt an alcohol policy in consultation with their staff. As part of this policy, there may be a requirement to include alcohol screening, although there must be substantial justification for this and a clear process outlined. We would advise employers to seek professional advice and guidance if they have an issue with any of these matters. For more information on how Croner can assist with alcohol-related issues in the workplace, please call 0800 032 4088.
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