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Herald Scotland, 11th May: A third of Scots workers admit to hangovers at work

May 16th 2016

Thanks to SHAAP for their weekly media monitoring.
This article was taken from Herald Scotland, 11th May

WORKERS say a rampant drinking culture in Scotland’s workplaces has led to one in five developing problems with their health.

Encouragement from employers to take part in after-hours drinking session and a lack of advice on the dangers of alcohol abuse have contributed to the situation, while many say they have gone to work with a hangover, damaging productivity.

The troubling picture of Scottish employees’ battles with booze has been laid bare in a survey of workers attitudes to alcohol consumption.

WORKERS say a rampant drinking culture in Scotland’s workplaces has led to one in five developing problems with their health.

Encouragement from employers to take part in after-hours drinking session and a lack of advice on the dangers of alcohol abuse have contributed to the situation, while many say they have gone to work with a hangover, damaging productivity.

The troubling picture of Scottish employees’ battles with booze has been laid bare in a survey of workers attitudes to alcohol consumption.

”Employers would be wise to address the issue by reviewing their workplace culture and conditions to ensure they’re not inadvertently stoking the flames of alcohol misuse.

“If businesses take steps to identify whether or not alcohol is causing a problem to their employees’ health and to business productivity they can then train managers, where necessary, to recognise problems and pinpoint trends.”

He added: “Tackling the drinking habits of employees can be challenging, but advice and guidance on attitudes towards alcohol and sensible drinking can be included in a company’s health and wellbeing strategy.”

More than a quarter of workers across Britain as a whole admitted to having gone to work with a hangover, with male workers (35 per cent) more culpable than their female counterparts (18 per cent).

Eleven per cent of male workers said they did so regularly, compared with just four per cent of females.

The study follows research which found that Irish people in Scotland were twice as likely to be hospitalised or die from alcohol-related diseases than white Scottish people.

The risk for women from a mixed ethnic background was almost 100 times that of white Scots, while people from a Chinese or Pakistani background had the lowest risks of alcohol-related illness or death, according scientists from the University of Edinburgh.

Jennifer Curran, Acting Deputy Chief Executive, Alcohol Focus Scotland, said that workplaces are often reflective of what is happening in wider society.

She said: “In Scotland nearly one in four men and around one in six women drink at harmful or hazardous levels and those in employment are more likely to drink than those who don’t work.

“In 2015 a review by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) suggested that the UK should consider tougher action, such as implementing minimum unit pricing, banning sports sponsorship and introducing clear labelling to reduce the impact of alcohol in terms of lost productivity, health spending and accidents.”

She added: “To help reduce the impact of alcohol, workplaces can introduce a number of interventions, including having a workplace alcohol policy and training for staff and managers.

“However, to increase the effectiveness of any workplace interventions, it is critical that action is taken on the price, availability and marketing of alcohol.”

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