Australian’s are known for their love of a tipple but when employees show up to work clearly hungover it can cause issues.
Depending on the job at hand hangover symptoms like poor concentration, irritability, nausea, headaches, trembling or shakiness can potentially create an unsafe space, not to mention the impact on productivity and quality of work.
Approaching the situation can be a challenge though as no one likes to be perceived as a buzz kill but when safety is at risk and other employees have to pick up the slack it’s important to deal with the situation head on.
EML Member Benefits Program Coordinator Kirsty Smith says it’s a good idea to approach the employee politely and casually and avoid embarrassing them in front of other employees or making direct accusations.
“They may in fact just be sick or off their game so approaching them respectfully will allow you to feel out what is going on,” says says.
Ms Smith also suggests keeping a written record of each incident.
“While it may be a one-off, others might do this persistently and if so written records will be required if it goes down the disciplinary action pathway.”
Be consistent in your approach. Much like any other negative workplace behaviour, you need to apply the policy consistently to avoid disgruntling your team and creating further performance issues.
If you have a workplace alcohol and drug policy, get familiar with it, remind your team and keep it in an easy to find location for your staff.
If it is a recurring issue for one worker in particular, offer them the number of your Employee Assistance Program (if applicable) or the number of a helpline like DrinkWise, Family Drug Support Helpline or Lifeline.