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United Kingdom: companies allow staff to book ‘hangover days’
Planet Labor, 16 December 2019, n°11549 - www.planetlabor.com

With the festive season fast approaching, a digital marketing start-up in the north-west of England has attracted attention for offering its employees “hangover days”. The idea behind the policy at Bolton-based The Audit Lab is to allow employees who have perhaps had one too many the night before to work from home, multiple times throughout the year. Claire Crompton, co-founder and director of The Audit Lab, explains: “We wanted to offer something to younger millennials who typically go out mid-week. My team book a hangover day in advance, if they know they are going out. They just work in their PJs, sat at home on the couch.” She says employees of the start-up make moderate and respectful use of the policy, which seeks to encourage them to go out in the evening for work-related events. Other UK companies have also adopted similar measures. In 2017, London-based music ticketing app Dice said it would offer four “hangover days” per year to its staff, who can take the time off work. Human resources experts remain divided on the matter. While some recognise the need for flexibility and transparency, others point to the fact it discriminates against those who do not drink alcohol and trivialises alcohol consumption. According to alcohol abuse charities, between 3% and 5% of work absences are due to alcohol consumption.