The purpose of this article is to consider the main issues for managers in dealing with problem drinking. It reviews legal and medical criteria, and society’s ambivalent attitude towards alcohol. The importance of the work nexus in devising policies and approaching situations is explored. Based on a thorough review of tribunal cases – it looks at some of the errors management make in dealing with the issue as a discipline problem. The article considers current medical and legal opinion and the views of ACAS in treating alcohol abuse as an ill health issue, and expresses reservations about the danger of creating an “alcoholic elite”.
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