Damaging drinking culture encouraged by employers

Well-meaning employers could be damaging the health of their workers by encouraging social events involving drinking, according to new research from Aviva.

In its fourth Health of the Workforce report, Aviva found 57% of business leaders claim socialising at work usually involves going to the pub for drinks.

Although 45% of respondents say there is no obligation to drink alcohol at social events, only 7% would actively discourage employees from doing so.

If an employee calls in sick after a work night out, 40% of employers would be concerned they had created an unhealthy working environment, and 26% are more worried about the impact on their business,.

Dr. Doug Wright, principal clinical consultant at Aviva UK Health, said: “The latest Aviva Health of the Workplace study suggests that, while employers are attempting to make the lives of their employees more fun, their over reliance on alcohol is perhaps misguided.

“With budgets being tight it may be better for employers to allocate this money to initiatives that benefit both their employees and their company.

Supporting the physical wellbeing of their team through workplace wellness programmes, for example, can be equally as effective in engaging staff and building morale and team spirit.”

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