Alcoholism is becoming more common in the U.K. workplace. It can have a huge impact on the work environment including employee absence, reduced work performance, as well as the employee having difficulty completing general tasks related to his or her job.

How to Spot Alcoholism in the Workplace

  • Is there an increase in unexplained absences?
  • Are more accidents, injuries or mistakes being made in the workplace?
  • Have hangovers in the workplace become the norm?
  • Has performance in the workplace declined or plummeted?
  • Is there a pattern of common mental health issues occurring time and time again?

If the answers are yes to a majority of these questions, alcoholism is likely to be present in the workplace.

Five Tips for Dealing with Alcoholism in the Workplace

  1. Develop a policy within the workplace to deal with alcoholism that supports both your employees and the business.

One way for employers to ensure this is to be sure that all managers, supervisors, and employees have annual training on alcoholism. Helplines and support groups should also be visible so those who do not want to speak personally about their problems can have an opportunity to deal with their problem.

  1. Before acting, be 100% sure there is a problem with alcoholism in the workplace

Before acting on a suspicion, the employer should be sure that there is an actual problem. This helps to maintain trust with your employees. If an employer does not have proof and accuses an employee of alcoholism, that employee may become offended and lawsuits could ensue.

  1. Be sensitive and compassionate when you do approach and employee

Remember that your employee is a human being and you may not understand all of the reasons behind the alcoholism. The employee is going through a difficult period in his or her life. If the employer listens and is compassionate, the employee is more likely to admit their problem and be more willing to seek help.

  1. Recommend addiction treatment programs

If your employee is honest about their addiction problems, be aware of treatment programs available and talk with your employee about those options. The employer can help the employee understand support groups and alcohol rehabilitation centres.

  1. Promote an open-door policy

By allowing an open-door policy, employees will develop trust and be more willing to discuss issues that come up within their lives. Listen to the employee’s concerns without being judgemental.

Treatment Options

There are several different options for treatment available to employees. Some are inpatient facilities and others are outpatient.

By following this advice and five steps an employer can help form a cohesive and supportive workplace. In-treatment facilities may require that the employee takes personal time off. Be sure to get in touch with human resources on the policy.

A person involved in an outpatient program will usually be involved in support groups and other therapies. Get in touch with Rehab Clinics Group for more advice on both inpatient and outpatient alcohol treatment options.

Thank you to John Gillen from Rehab Clinics Group for the content of this email.  John can be contacted for further advice on