Alcoholic workers costing Australia $400 mn

August 1st, 2010 - 4:54 pm ICT by IANS  

Melbourne, Aug 1 (IANS) Colleagues of heavy drinkers in Australia are being forced to do extra work to cover up for their alcoholic co-workers, and this extra labour is costing the economy over $400 million per year, new research has found.
About one third of workers have experienced negative effects from their co-workers’ drinking habits.

“Our findings show that the experience of having a heavily drinking co-worker is common in the Australian workplace,” Michael Livingston, from the Turning Point Alcohol and Drug Centre, was quoted as saying by Perth Now.

At least 59 of the 1,677 workers sampled for the study reported having worked for extra hours to cover up for others. The study tried to estimate the cost of extra time worked by Australian workers due to their co-workers’ drinking.

They were forced to work, on average, an additional week each year to cover for their boozing colleagues, costing the Australian economy $453 million, Livingston said.

“The cost of alcohol use in the workplace is multi-faceted. It can be caused by a reduction in the productive workforce from premature mortality, absenteeism due to alcohol-related sickness, and reduced productivity while at work,” he said.

The study, published in the Medical Journal of Australia, was done in collaboration with the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.

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