Published: 27th January 2020
Should colleges offer ‘hangover leaves’? Why it might or might not be probable
Charities, including Alcohol Change UK and Drinkaware say this practice could encourage binge drinking among employees who don’t have to worry about getting up for work the next day
Why do alcoholics begin down the same hazardous road day after day? They are in search of that elusive window of well-being that opens when you drink your way out of a hangover
— Roger Ebert, American film critic, historian, journalist and author
Does the statement confuse you? How much more confusing it could be for a person with a hangover? For the innocent or uninitiated, a hangover is the disagreeable physical aftereffects of drunkenness such as headaches or stomach disorder — usually felt several hours after cessation of drinking. Which means, the morning, the day-after or even the whole day. A blue-collar hangover worker manning a machine can adversely affect the quality and quantity of his output or he can even have a serious accident risking his limbs and life. For this reason, they are closely supervised and even sent home without wages.
But the white-collar workers are often pampered and are allowed to work from home where they can sip whiskey from a glass next to their computer and also smoke cigarettes. If worst comes to worst, they can take sick or casual leave, especially on Mondays after week-ends. It can also be sick leave supported by a doctor’s certificate. And a doctor is not supposed to moralise on binge drinking. Now the doctors can go to sleep without any moral pangs as the employers themselves are redeeming the hangover heroes as per a media report (BBC) excerpted below.
White-collar employees don’t have that problem — their workplace now gives them ‘hangover days’ for this reason. Ellie, a 19-year-old PR manager not only gets unlimited days off, but her digital marketing agency also lets employees take hangover days where they can work from home. “The perk has a lot in it,” Ellie told the BBC, “It is about honesty, it’s about people being able to not lie to their managers.”
Ellie’s boss, Claire Crompton, is the co-founder of The Audit Lab which is located close to Manchester. “We wanted to offer something to younger millennials who typically go out mid-week and do the pub quiz. My team book a hangover day in advance, if they know they are going out,” Crompton told the BBC.
Critics say this practice can encourage binge-drinking among employees. Some take issue with labelling it a ‘hangover day’ rather than just calling it a work from home.
Charities, including Alcohol Change UK and Drinkaware say this practice could encourage binge drinking among employees who don’t have to worry about getting up for work the next day. Some college students are prone to binge drinking, especially during weekends. Should college managements be liberal and offer some days in a year as ‘hangover’ holidays — like the ubiquitous ‘sick leave’ or ‘casual leave’?