Don’t Get Caught Out by Staff Drinking Habits This Summer!

27th July 2017

With the beautiful summer weather really starting to kick in, we can all look forward to summer parties across the length and breadth of the UK. These will include anything from corporate BBQ’s to summer garden parties and after work team building exercises.

These summer occasions are a great chance for employers to connect with their staff, share a drink, relax, and enjoy the summertime after a long year in the office. However, it’s also important for employers to be mindful that too much merriment can potentially cause a HR disaster. In particular, over indulgences in alcohol can prove the undoing of both employers and staff.

Enjoy the Sun, But Be Mindful

Recently we’ve noticed that Dorset Police, our local police force, have launched a major summer drink and drug driving campaign. Alongside this, we want employers across the country to remember that they can be held accountable for staff who are still over the limit the next day in the office.

Responsibility Can Rest On Your Shoulders

We must point out that as an employer, you are legally required to guarantee the health, safety, and welfare of all your employees as far as is reasonably practicable. This means that you can be prosecuted if you knowingly allow an employee under the influence of alcohol to continue working when they may place other employees at risk.

Therefore, we advise you to be vigilant the ‘morning after’ summer events as you will be accountable for any employees caught driving on behalf of the company who are found to be over the limit. Similarly, within the workplace, if you knowingly allow intoxicated staff to operate machinery or perform manual labour and an accident occurs, you will be held responsible.

What’s the Solution?

While alcohol screening is an option, this is often a sensitive issue and should be your last resort. Instead, I recommend implemented a clear policy regarding alcohol and also working with your staff to ensure compliance and that they recognise the consequences of working under the influence. A staggering 1,730 people were killed on Britain’s roads in 2015 by drink drivers. This something we can help prevent in the future!

For further advice, we are available to help you manage your workforce all through the year with our fully outsourced HR department.

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