ALCOHOL AWARE EMPLOYER
Supporting Employers to Create a Healthy Alcohol Culture
We’re on a mission to make every UK workplace an alcohol aware workplace – and we’re here to make it easy for you.
Alcohol plays a large part in lots of workplace cultures - it's often an integral part of doing business and a fun way for many to relax and connect with colleagues - but a negative alcohol culture at work can also have a damaging impact on the workplace.
Our Alcohol Aware Employer initiative helps employers to promte alcohol awarenss and create a healthy alcohol culture – you can start right away with our free resources.
This is a really important campaign from Alcohol Health Network – I would urge all employers to promote
alcohol awareness in their workplace, to improve overall health and wellbeing.
All employers should make sure they’re ‘alcohol aware’, starting with a clear policy and promoting alcohol awareness across managers and employees. It’s good for business and good for employee health.
— Professor Sir Cary L Cooper, CBE
Why Create a Healthy Drinking Culture in the Workplace
Physical and Mental Health of your employees
Excessive alcohol consumption harms the wellbeing of your employees – alcohol misuse also leads to high levels of depression, anxiety and dependency. Becoming an Alcohol Aware Employer helps employees understand more about their drinking and can help you signpost services to employees concerned about their drinking.
Many people who don't drink feel excluded from workplace culture or pressurized to drink to "fit in". Alcohol Aware Employer shows you’re aware not everyone drinks and provides advice on alcohol-free alternatives.
Bullying and Sexual Harassment
Research by the International Bar Association found that many instances of workplace harassment and bullying involve alcohol. Alcohol Aware Employer provides a free alcohol policy checklist to set clear ground rules on alcohol and work.
I welcome this enterprise. It has a most important aim – to help people recognise the serious long-term risks to health and wellbeing when they drink above recommended guidelines. Alcohol gives social pleasures but when abused it causes personal harm and damages relationships, families and working life.
- Professor Dame Carol Black, DBE
5 Simple Ways to Create a Healthy Alcohol Culture in your Workplace
Here are five easy ways to create a healthy approach to alcohol in your workplace:
1. Commit to serving alcohol free drinks at all work events
Not just lemonade and orange juice but some of the huge variety of new alcohol-free alternatives now available. Some of the alcohol-free beers, wines and spirits actually taste good (yes, really) and even soft drinks are becoming more "grown up". Offering these at all events signals to everyone that consuming alcohol is not expected and that those who don’t drink are welcome.
2. Create work social events that don't always revolve around alcohol
Name them something other than "drinks", time them at times other than after work (breakfast, lunch), and build them around non-drinking activities such as walking, running, cooking, flower arranging, museum visits or cycling.
3. Provide all employees with information about alcohol units and guidelines
Offer all employees the chance to check their drinking and receive feedback on their drinking levels and how this may be affecting their health - this can be online, at wellbeing events or using print materials.
4. Train your line managers to spot an alcohol problem and signpost employees who need help to support
Line managers are often the first to sense a problem with their team members. Training them to talk sensitively and confidently to team members about alcohol issues at an early stage will prevent problems from escalating.
5. Make sure you have an up to date alcohol policy and it's clearly communicated to all employees
Your policy should state clearly what the rules are around drinking at work and what support is available for employees who need help to drink less. It should also state what sort of behaviour is not acceptable under the influence of alcohol. Induction is a good time to introduce this.
To help get you started, take a look at our free resources for employers - there's Alcohol & Workplace Wellbeing FAQs, an infographic and a fact sheet on Alcohol & Mental Health.
Get in Touch
Alcohol Health Network is a social enterprise aiming to promote alcohol awareness in all workplaces. We want all employers to be alcohol aware.
If you'd like more information about our services, including line manager training, alcohol health roadshows, lunch and learn sessions and materials that can support you to be an Alcohol Aware Employer, email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org or call us on 020 3151 2420