Mad Friday takes place this Friday (16th December) but how do employees and employers tackle the aftermath of the Christmas party, Christmas Jumpers, Secret Santa, cracker-Pulling excitement?
DRiNKLiNK Chairperson, Stacey Summers, says the Scottish charity has the answer as they launch Drinklink.org – an informative website that helps employers across Scotland stay on the right side of the law when tackling alcohol misuse whilst departing need to know facts to employees looking to help a colleague.
Britain’s party hangover will cost the economy £541million in lost working hours, a study has revealed. On a wider note, Alcohol misuse cost the Scottish economy £3.56 bn per year.
Although set to tackle these figures, Stacey says the site isn’t a sign of bah humbug and said: “You can almost feel the excitement on the build up to the works party, however for an unfortunate few, the next day is more than just a hangover. You may have noticed the mood suddenly drops. You can almost see the fear on people’s faces as they walk into the office wondering if there job is at risk because of their behaviour the night before.
“For a lot of offices, Mad Friday and the Christmas party creates a lot of awkward, if not dangerous situations and it can be difficult for companies and employers to approach it. The legal obligations however are clearly outlined and if a company or employee doesn’t manage the situation correctly, they are at risk. We believe this site will help us to have festive fun without the festive fear.”
The website, which is supported by the Aberdeen Alcohol and Drugs partnership, collates key fact from local support groups that will help people to educate themselves about alcohol, their legal responsibility and the early detection signs of someone developing a problem. It also provides top tips that allow colleagues and employers to approach the problem and outlines the legal infrastructure in place to protect employees and employers alike.
Fraser Hoggan, Development Officer of the Aberdeen Alcohol and Drugs Partnership spoke about the importance of this collaborations: “We are seeing a definite increase in interest in the late night café culture, where work-colleagues choose to socialise in an environment with no alcohol. However, we appreciate that these won’t replace the drinking culture in Aberdeen around Aberdeen any time soon and we are delighted to have support from grassroot charities such as DRiNKLiNK to ensure people know where they stand and to promote local support groups.”
Workplaces can download their free inspiration pack on after work drinks replacements from the website – a demand increasing in popularity in parallel to the new drink driving regulations and health trends. The charity is also encouraging people to get in touch to help in the development of a similar site for family and friends that is scheduled to launch early 2017.
Stacey continued: “Through these website we want to give a voice to the people it’s build for. The workplace website was built through a collaborative effort with 10 workplaces of various sizes throughout the UK. We want to take the same approach with the family and friends site and encourage anyone who has felt the impact of someone else’s drinking to get in touch with their information requests.”