LUXEMBOURG: One in every four occupational injuries is caused by alcohol

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Since the publication in 2008 of the first edition of the book entitled “Alcohol, drugs and work”, its author, the lawyer Pierrot Schiltz, observes that “occupational injuries, absenteeism and staff layoffs are increasingly due to excessive consumption of alcohol and drugs”.

For example, it is considered that alcohol is to blame in one out of four occupational injuries. One job layoff out of six is considered to be the consequence of such consumption. Workplace absenteeism is estimated to be four times more frequent among workers who consume alcohol and drugs. Up to 15% of employees are estimated to be concerned by alcohol consumption at work, and 8.4% of the employees questioned for a drug addiction study apparently consume illegal substances.

Schiltz recommends a law purely and simply prohibiting the consumption of alcohol and drugs in the workplace, and coming to work after such consumption. The Minister of Labour, Nicolas Schmit, has not indicated that he plans to legislate along these lines.

Sector-based collective labour agreements already ban the consumption of psychoactive substances and provide for a job layoff with immediate effect for serious misconduct. But according to Schiltz, the judge applies these measures only in cases of injury or a serious offence.

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