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Will your workforce’s January be a dry one?

A fresh start?

Typically recognised as a time for fresh starts, January presents a great opportunity to cultivate a ‘new beginnings’ mindset.

Many individuals kick off their new beginnings with Dry January, a public health campaign which has gained traction in recent years, promoting alcohol awareness.  The concept complements the most common themes in New Year’s resolutions i.e. health, fitness and financial resolutions. Employers may be keen to engage with such initiatives, seeing them as one way to help create a positive and meaningful ‘back to work’ atmosphere following the festive break.

Perceived benefits

Here’s how Dry January could be beneficial to those in your workforce who are participating:

1)      Alcohol Change reports that Dry January can help to reduce employee absenteeism and lost productivity through alcohol.

2)      The NHS has reported upon a study that found Dry January participation can encourage healthier drinking habits in the long term such as lower alcohol dependency and a higher ability to be able to refuse alcohol. This can, again, mean a more productive and healthy workforce.

3)      Those who successfully complete Dry January are encouraged by the noticeable health benefits including increased energy, a trimmer waistline and less sleepless nights, inspiring more efforts to take better care of themselves going forward. This, in turn, translates into the workplace, with more energetic and positive employees in the long run.

How you could help

Of course, Dry January is completely voluntary.  If your employees do choose to participate, here are a few ways you could support the movement in the workplace:

  • Communicate the health and financial benefits of Dry January – aside from the obvious, abstaining from alcohol can also lead to better skin and hair!
  • Challenge employees to set aside the money they would have spent on alcohol until the end of the month to see how much abstaining or reducing alcohol consumption can save them.
  • Add a charitable element to Dry January – hold a competition for those participating to see who can save the most (perhaps with them donating a percentage of whatever they save). Have a prize for who donates the most or price-match their donation. Alternatively, participating employees could be sponsored, with a prize going to the individual who raises the most money for charity.

Making Dry January a collaborative effort in your workplace could encourage your employees to successfully complete the challenge.

What better way is there to start the New Year than with a healthier, happier workforce whilst also promoting your social corporate responsibility by educating on alcohol awareness?

Jessica Lee is a trainee solicitor who is currently working with our employment team.  Many members of Team HRC Law have health kick plans in place for January, with one or two aiming to keep it dry too.  Manchester’s weather, as ever, has other plans.

This bulletin contains general overview information only. It does not constitute, and should not be relied upon, as legal advice. You should consult a suitably qualified lawyer on any specific legal problem or matter.