New service addresses work drink problems

A new service has been launched in an effort to combat the problems caused in the workplace through employees drinking alcohol. Dr John McMahon has devised the Sensible Policies to Reduce the Effects of Alcohol and Drugs for Employers (Spreade) initiative after noting the impact of drinking on the job is costing businesses more than £300 per worker.

It is hoped the scheme will help companies become alcohol-smart by arming them with an array of tools, guidance and support, which will encourage a proactive approach to alter both the drinking habits of the workforce and the culture of imbibing as a whole.

Dr McMahon - who has published work in the British Journal of Psychology, a journal of the British Psychological Society - noted Spreade will show employers "a new and more effective strategy for managing the effects of alcohol on their business, a strategy that will reduce the price they are paying for their workers' drinking".

Chartered Psychologist Kate Keenan said an important factor in such schemes being successful is to ensure individuals battling addiction understand how managing these vices and avoiding abusing them is good for their wellbeing and productivity.

"For any scheme to be a success, a sympathetic approach as to why people get into difficulties in the first place is essential," she added.

Firms that choose to use Spreade will become Alcohol Smart Employees as a result, which shows they are serious about improving the welfare of their staff.