Booze Burst: Should employees be allowed to drink at work?

5
78

Drinking at work has various unwanted impacts on performance, productivity and the overall work culture.

Workplace boozing or drinking alcohol at work is no more a big taboo in the modern-day office, but at the same time, it still isn’t a norm and looms upon organisations as a big concern. More so, it poses a dilemma for organisations that have to deal with employees who drink during work hours.

Workplace drinking adversely impacts performance, productivity and overall work culture. An employee who drinks on the job soon becomes a liability to the business, as problems such as attendance issues, tardiness and difficulty in maintaining an acceptable standard of performance, start erupting.

In order to avoid such work situations and control any inappropriate behaviours, Lloyd’s of London, the specialist insurance market, has recently banned employees from consuming alcohol during the workday.

The company has included the new policy in its employee guide, and prohibits staff from downing alcohol between 9am and 5pm Monday to Friday.

The decision comes after the historic insurance market — founded in the 17th century —discovered that around half of the disciplinary cases in the last year were related to the misuse of alcohol. The move, however, only applies to its 800 direct employees, and not to the many independent brokers and underwriters who work in the same building.

The company feels that the London market, historically, has a reputation for daytime drinking, but that has been changing and Lloyd’s now has a duty to be a responsible employer, and provide a healthy working environment. Having said that, the new policy aligns it with many other firms in the market. Since drinking alcohol affects individuals differently, a zero limit entails consistency and is also in line with the modern, global and high-performance culture that the company wants to embrace.

Employees at Lloyd’s appear unhappy with the ban and have reacted angrily to the same on the company intranet. On the other hand, failure to comply with the new policy could see employees being accused of gross misconduct, and they could even risk losing their jobs.

There are numerous organisations out there, similar to Lloyd’s, which may be concerned about employees drinking during work hours but have been unable to frame a policy around the same, despite pondering on the idea. So, here are a few things to keep in mind while framing a policy around workplace drugs or alcohol.

  • Organisations should consider various parameters, wherein the policy may or may not be applicable— such as social workplace events or employees travelling on business.
  • A good policy should raise awareness about the consequences of alcohol or drugs misuse and also detail any disciplinary action for employees, who cross the line.
  • Violators need to be checked, and hence, for a strong alcohol and drug testing policy, it is important to clearly state the consequences of refusing or failing a test.
  • An alcohol-testing policy should not be discriminatory and limited to certain staff and exempt others. For instance, employers should not offer favourable treatment to or be less strict with members of the management.

5 COMMENTS

  1. In a manufacturing organisation, Alcohol is completely prohibited in the entire organisation (on the plants as well as corporates) as a strict Health and Safety violation; due to the nature of work. This is mandatory and implemented across the workforce- including contractual workers. Any violation is met with on the spot termination!

  2. In any kind of Industry, the alcohol should not be allowed during the working hours . This consuming alcohol duirng working hours not only causes problem to the organisation but it also imapct on employee health. heavily.
    Further in India these norms are strictly followed by employer as well as employee..

  3. Whether working in a manufacturing industry or in corporate office both places are strictly prohibited for consumption of Alcohol. Alcohol consume creates Health & Safety issue as well mental stability of the person. It creates unhealthy environment among all. A person coming to work after consuming alcohol must be sent back to home and while sending him the HR must see his condition whether he can go back home himself or has to be assisted by a person. Secondly anyone found consuming alcohol at work place must be issued with disciplinary action..

  4. Whether working in a manufacturing industry or in corporate office both places are strictly prohibited for consumption of Alcohol. Alcohol consume creates Health & Safety issue as well mental stability of the person. It creates unhealthy environment among all. A person coming to work after consuming alcohol must be sent back to home and while sending him the HR must see his condition whether he can go back home himself or has to be assisted by a person. Secondly anyone found consuming alcohol at work place must be issued with disciplinary action..

  5. Whatever is the Industry, the alcohol should be strictly ban during the office hours. Alcohol is not good for health and we don’t want our employees to get unwell. Instead of this Every corporate should give meal benefits to their employees.

Comment on the Article

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here