Workplaces can play a major role in changing our drinking culture and protecting employees from harm.
In 2008/09, 25% of New Zealand drinkers said they had consumed alcohol in the workplace or at meetings.
Less than 10% of drinkers in a 2012/13 survey said that they had worked while under the influence of alcohol in the last 12 months. This was higher among some ethnic groups.
In 2008 it was estimated that 147,500 adults take one or more days off work or school due to their alcohol use (males more than females). A total of 84,400 adults reported experiencing harmful effects on their work, study or employment because of alcohol.
The estimated annual average cost of lost productivity per employee is estimated to be NZ$1097.71 (NZ$209.62 absenteeism, NZ$888.09 presenteeism) and NZ$134.62 per employer. At a population level this equates to approximately NZ$1.65 billion per year.
In New Zealand, employers have legal obligations under the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015 to protect workers from health and safety risks and minimise hazards.