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How hangovers at work are hitting productivity

Hangovers at work are estimated to cost employers £6.4 billion a year in lost productivity. How can employers deal with the problem of alcohol abuse and its impact in the workplace?

It's estimated that as many as 140,000 people go to work each day with a hangover, costing employers a colossal £48,000 a minute. According to the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD), around 10 million UK employees regularly exceed the recommended weekly guidelines on alcohol consumption. Worryingly, in spite of 77% of employers citing alcohol misuse as a major threat to employee wellbeing, over 40% of employers have no alcohol policy, and a large proportion (84%) do not provide health awareness programmes for staff.

As well as the need to keep staff productive, employers also have a duty of care to their staff. It is their responsibility to ensure that their employees' health and safety is maintained on a continual basis and that the signs of alcohol abuse are identified and addressed as soon as possible.

Alcohol abuse is often best addressed by employers through the wider context of promoting a healthy lifestyle, instead of through alcohol bans and breath-screening, although different workplace environments can require different approaches. Acas can help you develop and implement effective alcohol and drug policies and offers support in having difficult conversations with employees around issues such as alcohol abuse.

Visit the Acas training and business solutions area for more information.

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