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Corporate manslaughter legislation has raised awareness of the need for alcohol policies

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A growing number of employers are drafting alcohol policies in a bit to avoid health and safety discrimination claims.

According to HR consultancy Jaluch, the number of employers asking for help to put together alcohol policies has increased by 50% since August 2008.

The rise is a result of the Corporate Manslaughter and Corporate Homicide Act, which came into effect last year. An employer that knowingly allows an employee to come to work under the influence of alcohol can face prosecution under the Act.

Gina Leccacorvi, director at Jaluch, said: "Certain industries, particularly the rail and manufacturing industries, clamped down on this some time ago to comply with the Health and Safety at Work Act, but now office-based firms are beginning to take heed.

"With lunchtime and evening networking a key part of working life for many city firms, imposing a no-alcohol policy has its challenges. But the risk of failing to have a clear policy in place can be high. Drinking during working hours impairs judgement which can put colleagues at risk."