Last Thursday the London Metal Exchange toughened its stance on alcohol consumption, with new rules that will prohibit floor traders from drinking during the workday, the ban follows on from a similar zero-tolerance policy announced by Lloyd’s of London.
Many companies are now thinking about their culture in their companies and are thinking about the diversity of the City. They want to recruit young talent and the under 25s are now drinking less than other age groups.
The London market has historically had a reputation for daytime drinking but drinking alcohol affects individuals differently, so a zero limit is more consistent and in line with the modern, global and high performance cultures that businesses want to embrace.
So as an employer, you no doubt fully recognise that alcohol can turn into a serious problem in your workplace if it’s not carefully managed.
What would you do if an employee turned up for their shift looking worse for wear and constantly late? What if rowdy behaviour in the pub brought your business into disrepute? and what exactly is the difference between your employee enjoying a couple of drinks and your business being faced with a more serious problem?
What you really need to understand is…
You have legal obligations under The Health and Safety at work Act 1974, The Transport and Works Act 1992 and The Misuse of Drugs Act 1971. You must have policies that ensure that issues are handled fairly and consistently and your managers should have sufficient training and capability to deal with workers who need help.
It would be well to note here that taking a hardline approach rarely serves anyone well. You probably don’t need us to tell you that dragging an employee with a serious problem into your office and giving them a telling off isn’t going to fix anything.
As a responsible employer, you’ve got a duty of care to make sure that you support your employees through difficult time. Which is a solid reason why many employers now view alcohol and drug problems as illnesses that need to be treated through rehabilitation practices.
Of course, drugs can be a different kettle of fish entirely, as they’re less socially acceptable, and can have a much more damaging impact on a person’s life than enjoying a few drinks with workmates now and again.
Remember too that if you have a team of managers, their role is important in all of this. Can they spot potential problems? Do they have the confidence and ability to tackle them? Do they know where to turn to for expert help if things start to escalate?
If you’re just reading this blog out of interest, and you don’t have an issue like this in your workplace at the moment, then that’s great. However, you must recognise that you do need to be prepared, firefighting issues like this is always going to be difficult for everyone involved.
This is complex stuff, and you don’t have to manage it on your own, get in touch with HR Revolution +44 203 538 5311 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org to arrange a no-obligation and confidential discussion around how we might be able to help you deal with alcohol problems at work.