British businesses are losing 14.8 million working days a year because of
The TUC is urging the Government to fund research into the extent of alcohol
misuse at work, its effect on the workplace and the cost to British businesses.
Research by the union has suggested that alcohol is a major factor in
absences, with up to 14.8 million working days lost as a result of drinking
Long-term sickness, unemployment and premature death because of alcohol
abuse costs the UK economy some £2.3bn a year, the study estimated.
Ministers and officials at the Cabinet Office and the Department of Health
are looking for ideas on how to tackle the issue of alcohol in the workplace.
The TUC’s response, A Potent Cocktail, also suggests the Government could
give incentives to employers offering counselling, and other types of employee
assistance programmes that encouraged more workers to come forward and admit
their alcohol problems.
It called on employers to work harder with unions to draw up alcohol
policies that covered the causes of excessive drinking, confidentiality,
counselling, screening, testing and the role of occupational health services.
A recent study by the charity Alcohol Concern found that 60 per cent of
employers have experienced problems as a result of staff boozing.
TUC general secretary elect Brendan Barber said: "People who like the
odd drink or two may think their drinking is under control, but the colleagues
who have to cover for them might think otherwise."