- Alcohol policy priorities for the next parliament
- Young drinkers believe prominent health warnings on alcohol could boost risk awareness
- Australian ministers agree to visible pregnancy warning
- Alcohol and the Workplace Effective Interventions
- Alcohol sales and consumption in Scotland during the pandemic
- Invitation to Tender - Alcohol Marketing Evidence Review
- How can we prevent alcohol deaths?
- Alcohol Deaths and Minimum Unit Pricing
- Young Scots show support for restrictions on alcohol marketing
- YoungScot Health Panel report on alcohol marketing and harm
- New release of alcohol related hospital admissions
- Better alcohol labelling – A way to boost awareness of the risk between alcohol and cancer?
- Alcohol Deaths Prevention Support
- Almost half of Scots in favour of minimum unit pricing
- NICE Guidelines on FASD Surveillance or Support?
- Leading health charities call for action in Scotland
- Health experts campaign for better understanding of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder
- Health experts call for alcohol labelling overhaul
- Survey shows Scots lockdown drinking rise caused by stress
- Alcohol Focus Scotland welcomes new WHO report on alcohol pricing
- Statistical analysis of off-trade alcohol sales in the year following MUP
- Alcohol Focus Scotland Review of statements of licensing policy 2018 to 2023
- Scotland needs to continue long-term focus on alcohol
- We need to continue long-term focus on alcohol
- Scots report changing drinking patterns during coronavirus lockdown
- Time to Blow the Whistle on Alcohol Sport Sponsorship
- Five top tips for working remotely
- New evidence demonstrates that alcohol ads lead to youth drinking
- Alcohol sales fall in first year of MUP
- First study published into under 18 drinkers post MUP
- Commission on Alcohol Harm calls for evidence
- Two years on Are annual functions reports reaching their potential?
- We need to do more to protect our children and young people
- Alcohol related hospital admissions for 2018 to 2019
- Hitting the right note in training
- Minimum unit pricing update
- Scottish primary children call for action on alcohol
- New Alcohol Deaths Prevention Support Now Available from AFS
- Its time to tell us whats in our drinks
- A home for Rory
- Making a bad impression - blog post
- Alcohol sales and MUP
- Alcohol-specific deaths 2018
- Five tips for upping the engagement factor
- Alcohol marketing and children debate in the Scottish Parliament
- Lowest alcohol sales in 25 years
- Research into fall in violence
- The Children's Parliament investigates an alcohol-free childhood
- Five tips for training delivery nerves
- Minimum unit pricing one year on
- More about sales data
- A family of resources it is all about prevention, education and resilience
- AFS publish Review of Licensing Board Annual Functions Reports 2017-2018
- Marketing unmasked dispelling the myths and taking a stand
- No place for alcohol marketing in sport
- Five pitfalls to avoid in evaluating training
- Scotland publishes first UK guidelines for diagnosing fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD)
- The Alcohol Framework 2018 Preventing Harm
- Scotlands new drug and alcohol strategy launched
- AFS welcome new alcohol strategy
- Recent reporting on alcohol sales data
- Cross-Party Group Improving Scotland's health: 2021 and beyond October 2018
- Diageo is failing to provide latest guidelines on their products
- Drinks companies keeping consumers in dark about risky drinking
- Reducing alcohol consumption can address health inequalities
- Alcohol-specific deaths remain at very high levels
- Oh Lila goes digital
- Global first alcohol policy set to save hundreds of Scots' lives
- AFS welcomes minimum unit pricing for alcohol
- Walker's crisp ad exposes children to alcohol marketing
- Truer picture of alcohol harm revealed
- Focus on link between alcohol and obesity
- Alcohol causes 3,700 deaths in Scotland every year
- Last Christmas for heavily discounted alcohol
- Scotland's licensing system needs clearer direction
- Minimum pricing blog
- Minimum pricing gets green light
- Reflections on GAPC 2017
- Alcohol brands and young people
- Time for honest conversations about alcohol
- Q&A on alcohol marketing
- UK children anxious about parents' drinking
- Quarter of Scots drink above guidelines
- Alcohol producers failing to inform public
- Concern over alcohol-related deaths
- We need to make it easier for people to drink less
- Worrying rise in alcohol-related deaths
- Minimum pricing will save lives
- Pocket money prices for alcohol continue
- Scotland's alcohol problem laid bare
- Cheap alcohol is costing Scotland dear
- One drink a day can increase breast cancer risk
- Poverty linked to increased harm from alcohol
- What next for reducing alcohol harm in Scotland?
- Scotland must do more to turn tide of alcohol harm
- Concern as funding for alcohol services cut
- Budget: No change in alcohol duty
- Scottish Government urged to curb alcohol marketing
- Consumers have the right to know health risks
- Chancellor urged to tackle cheap, strong cider in Budget
- Online help for families affected by alcohol
- Alcohol-free childhood is healthiest option
- SWA granted leave to appeal minimum pricing
- Drink drive warning
- Scottish Greens call for action on alcohol marketing
- Scottish Government receives European alcohol award
- SWA will appeal to UK Supreme Court
- Half of alcohol being sold under 50p per unit
- SWA urged to respect minimum pricing decision
- Alcohol and mental health are closely linked
- Minimum pricing can be implemented in Scotland
- Alcohol sold at pocket money prices
- Scotland has so much to gain from reducing how much we drink
- AFS welcomes revised alcohol consumption guidelines
- Emergency services face shocking levels of alcohol abuse
- Every child has the right to grow up safe from alcohol harm
- Public health must prevail over big business
- New toolkit to help children affected by family alcohol problems
- Price check reveals cheap cost of strong alcohol
- Sales increase underlines need for minimum pricing
- Time to kick alcohol out of sport
- Alcohol linked with stomach cancer
- AFS calls for compulsory health warnings on alcoholic drinks
- Are supermarkets 'responsible retailers' when it comes to alcohol?
- Scottish health charities call for excise duty rise to tackle cheap alcohol
- Alcohol campaigners unite to call for stronger protection from alcohol advertising to children
- New resource for people concerned about alcohol in their community
- Minimum pricing decision delayed until summer
- No completely 'safe' level of drinking
- New alcohol guidelines published
- Minimum pricing - European court ruling
- Alcohol fuels ambulance assaults
- 82% of Scots agree drink driving is unacceptable
- Scotland's alcohol strategy - what next?
- Scotland leads way in evidence-based alcohol policy
- New report reveals impact of alcohol on emergency services
- Alcohol: a global concern
Alcohol and the Workplace: Effective Interventions
The COVID-19 pandemic and associated restrictions have affected all our lives, adding pressures we never imagined dealing with. Many studies have found changes in our drinking patterns linked to mental health, boredom, and isolation.
In this blog Brian O’Hara, senior coordinator for learning and development, explores some of the challenges of home working during a pandemic and asks how organisations are looking after their staff in relation to alcohol.
I am finding it hard to believe that we’re fast approaching a year of working remotely. Almost a year where my only contact with the rest of my team has been through a window on the laptop. I get out of bed and I’m immediately in my office. And then the juggling starts. The fast pace of work as we have adapted to our new circumstances. A daughter in a similar boat, trying to learn from home and only seeing her classmates like I see my teammates. A labrador who doesn’t understand the concept of working from home and wants a walk with his favourite human – particularly when I’m in meetings. Seeing my wife less as her work needs her more and more.
Sound familiar? I know I’m not alone. Millions of us have been living this new reality with the impact of COVID-19, the associated restrictions, and new pressures on our work life balance. My experience probably resonates with many of you. I know I’m quite fortunate - there are lots of people out there facing a much more challenging time. And we’re all coping in our own ways.
Several studies have found that some people have increased their alcohol consumption during the pandemic and that it often linked to mental health, boredom, and isolation. A recent survey by Alcohol Focus Scotland found that 18% of people surveyed had used alcohol to manage stress or anxiety, and half had increased their drinking to cope.
A Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) survey conducted in August 2020 found that over a quarter (27%) of those surveyed had increased their alcohol consumption because of the pandemic and associated restrictions.
While drinking might temporarily make us feel relaxed and less stressed, as we drink more it can have the opposite effect. Drinking can disrupt our sleep and increase our levels of anxiety which over time can lead to further problems.
Sir Richard Branson is often quoted as saying: “If you look after your staff, they’ll look after your customers. It’s that simple.”
So how are you looking after your staff in terms of alcohol?
Alcohol can have a profound impact on your staff's health and wellbeing, absenteeism and productivity. As employers, we also have important legal duties to protect employee’s health and safety.
As lockdown restrictions continue into 2021, our need to support employee welfare has never been more important than it is now.
Here are three key interventions that are effective and recommended for all workplaces.
1. Workplace alcohol policy
One of the best ways to address alcohol issues within the workplace is to have an alcohol policy which covers the entire workforce.
2. Alcohol awareness sessions
When developing or revising a workplace alcohol policy it is important to keep all staff informed of the process, including what the proposed/revised policy will cover and when this will be implemented. To support this, it can be useful to have an alcohol awareness session for staff which helps build understanding about why this is needed and the benefits to the workforce.
3. Training for managers/supervisors
To ensure the meaningful and consistent implementation of the alcohol policy, it is critical that all managers and supervisors have knowledge and confidence to handle any issues which arise.
Training on the key elements of the policy and how to conduct workplace interviews if required can be vital to ensuring the policy is used effectively.
Alcohol Focus Scotland has a number of resources and training sessions scheduled for 2021 to help your organisation. You can also contact our Learning and Development team to see how we can support your organisation.
 Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development. (2020). Managing Alcohol & Drug Misuse at Work. Available: https://www.cipd.co.uk/Images/drug-alcohol-misuse-work-report-1_tcm18-83090.pdf. Last accessed 26th Jan 2021.
 Professor Adam R Winstock MD. (2020). Global Drug Survey - Special Edition on COVID-19. Available: https://www.globaldrugsurvey.com/wp-content/themes/globaldrugsurvey/assets/GDS_COVID-19-GLOBAL_Interim_Report-2020.pdf. Last accessed 1st Feb 2021.
 HRNews. (2020). 90% admit to boozing while working from home. Available: http://hrnews.co.uk/90-admit-to-boozing-while-working-from-home/. Last accessed 1st Feb 2021.