Alcohol policy is a must for employers as one in four employees likes a drink with their lunch

Nearly a quarter of British employees enjoy an alcoholic drink during their lunchbreak, research has found.

A survey of 1,000 people conducted by market researcher YouGov for business services firm Croner, part of publisher Wolter Kluwers UK,  found that of the 23% who did drink alcohol at lunchtimes at least occasionally, four in 10 said they would be more tempted to do so during the summer.

Stephen Thomas, safety technical consultant at Croner, said companies should ensure that they had an alcohol policy in place which took into account any risks associated with the work.

Thomas said: “In the right circumstances, there’s nothing wrong with having a sensible drink at lunchtime but employers need to make sure that doing so doesn’t compromise an employee’s ability to do their job and, most importantly, do it safely.

“No-one wants to be unnecessarily seen as a killjoy, but in the case of high risk and safety-sensitive jobs, there should be no doubt that a no alcohol policy is the only option,” he added.

Under the general requirements of the Health and Safety at Work, etc Act 1974, employers are required to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, the health, safety and welfare at work of all employees.

Do you have a colleague you suspect of alcohol misuse? Our Workplace Clinic experts offer advice.

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