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Q&A - working under the influence of alcohol


Can you dismiss just because they smell of alcohol?

An employee has turned up to work smelling pretty bad and it’s obvious that it’s alcohol. Can you sack them simply because they reek of it or would a dismissal for this reason be inviting trouble? More...


Must you investigate every line of defence?

Having been accused of misconduct, it’s quite possible that an employee will put forward several lines of defence. According to the Court of Appeal, are you obliged to thoroughly investigate each one? More...


An important lesson in unfair dismissal

The tribunal has ruled that a former Oxford University employee - who was sacked over twelve allegations of gross misconduct - was unfairly dismissed. Where did this particular employer go wrong? More...


Can you dismiss an alcoholic?

Apparently, 57% of employees regularly drink excessive amounts of alcohol. What if you discover that one of your own members of staff has a serious drink problem. Would this be sufficient grounds to dismiss them? More...


P*ssed (off) worker wins unfair dismissal case

An employee who was dismissed for drinking a single pint of lager shandy has just had his unfair dismissal claim upheld by the Employment Appeal Tribunal. So what did the employer involved do wrong here? More...


Alcohol and training courses

An employee who likes to regularly overindulge in alcohol can be a problem at the best of times. But suppose it results in them being kicked off an external training course that they must attend. Can this be grounds for dismissal? More...


Off sick but known to be working

Recently, one of your employees got in a taxi only to discover it was being driven by a member of staff who’s signed off sick. As he’s getting full sick pay you’re understandably annoyed. But can you dismiss him for gross misconduct? More...


Workers behaving badly

You’re holding a disciplinary hearing during which the employee behaves so badly that you decide it amounts to gross misconduct so you dismiss them there and then. Would you be justified in doing this? More...


Drunk and out the door?

Many people like a drink or two and unless you’ve a strict no alcohol policy, may drink during work hours. Most of the time it won’t be a problem, but what happens if an employee gets excessively drunk. Is it safe to dismiss? More...
Last updated: 03.07.2020

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