Reducing harm caused by alcohol

Alcohol and the workplace

The COVID-19 pandemic and associated restrictions have affected all our lives. Many of us have had to quickly adapt to working in new ways – predominately working from home and teamworking remotely – creating new pressures on us at work. It’s not just work. There are also new pressures in our home life as we live with these restrictions, childcare challenges and more.

Woman wearing a mask working on a laptop

Supporting employee welfare has never been more important than it is now.

A Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) survey[1] 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.

Further reports have shown an increase in people drinking earlier in the day[2] and 90% of those surveyed admitting to drinking while working at home[3].

Several studies have found increased consumption during the pandemic linked to mental health, boredom, and isolation. A recent survey by Alcohol Focus Scotland found that 18% of those surveyed had drank to handle stress/anxiety overall, and half had drank more than usual to handle stress/anxiety.

At Alcohol Focus Scotland, we strongly recommend support for alcohol and drug misuse as part of employer’s wellbeing offer including a robust, supportive policy and education for staff and managers.

For the whole organisation

Alcohol Affects Us All

Laptop showing a video meeting

In short:Training aimed at providing participants with an introduction to alcohol; the impact it has on the individual, the workplace and wider Scottish society; and how to make informed choices about consumption.

Who is it for?
Anyone seeking to better understand alcohol and its impact in the workplace and in the wider community.

Learning outcomes:
• Describe alcohol as a substance and explore how it affects the body.
• Explore the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and related restrictions on consumption.
• Discuss the impact of alcohol on the workplace and wider Scottish society.
• Describe safer approaches to consumption.

How can I access it?
• Remote tutor led 3 hour session (Either via Zoom or Microsoft Teams).

Or see our mini 1hr session (e.g. Breakfast Brief or Lunch and Learn) below

One of the most enjoyable course I have ever been on.
Great exercises which made the course interesting and relevant, enjoyed participation aspect of course, engaging delivery.
Fun and interactive course with good group activities to keep you engaged. Course trainer approachable and well presented.

For Line Managers

Managing Alcohol & Drugs in the Workplace

Laptop showing person wearing mask

In short: Training aimed at providing participants with an introduction to the impact alcohol and drugs have on Scottish society and specific guidance on how to address alcohol and drug related issues in the workplace.

Who is it for?
Anyone with responsibility for supervising or managing staff and HR professionals.

Learning outcomes:
• Discuss the impact of alcohol and drugs on Scottish society.
• Explore the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and related restrictions on consumption.
• Discuss good practice in workplace alcohol and drug policy.
• Demonstrate how to raise and manage alcohol and drug related issues in the workplace.

How can I access it?
• Remote tutor led 3 hour session (Either via Zoom or Microsoft Teams)

Interested in specific topics? See our mini 1hr sessions (e.g. Breakfast Brief or Lunch and Learn) below

Great course. Very thought provoking.
The course was really interesting and was delivered with a good mix of tutor led, group discussions and feedback.
I am better prepared to speak to staff if I have concerns sooner rather than later.


[1] 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.

[2] 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.

[3] 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.