Should companies offer hangover days?

Tired young overworked businessman touch the head and feel strong pain
Hangover days: The future of working or an irresponsible policy? [Photo: Getty]

Many of us have battled a hangover at work at one time or another.

This often has negative consequences for our performance, with the next-day effects of alcohol resulting in difficulty concentrating; reduced productivity; tired and mistakes, according to research from the Institute of Alcohol Studies.

And that’s if you even make it in after a heavy night of drinking, with some 70 million working days are lost annually due to alcohol-related sickness.

But one employer seems to offer a solution: hangover days.

READ MORE: New research uncovers personality type most likely to binge drink

Audit Labs, a Bolton-based digital marketing agency, allows staff to arrange strategic “work from home” days to fall after a boozy night out.

Ellie, 19, works as a PR manager for the company, and is a fan of the policy.

"The perk has a lot in it," she told BBC 5 Live's ‘Wake Up To Money’ podcast. "It is about honesty, it's about people being able to not lie to their managers.”

Claire Crompton, the company’s co-founder and director, said employees had been “respectful” of the policy.

"If people used it two or three times a week and missed important client meetings then we'd have to have a think. But everyone has been really respectful of it so far,” she said. "It's basically a work-from-home day, but we've sexed it up a bit to appeal to the younger generation.”

Social media reaction

So should other workplaces introduce this kind of policy?

Audit Labs’ flexible working initiative has received a mixed reaction on Twitter. While some have praised it, others are not a fan.

READ MORE: People are being sober-shamed for giving up alcohol

Some are suggesting the policy is infantilising – calling on its supporters to “grow up”.

Some are also saying it promotes irresponsible drinking, and is insensitive towards those affected towards the alcoholism.

A leading alcohol addiction charity has also condemned the policy.

“Employers have a duty of care to ensure the health, safety and welfare of their employees,” Elaine Hindal, CEO of Drinkaware, told the Independent – adding that a hangover days policy promotes “risky drinking behaviours”.

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