Does alcohol testing improve workplace culture?

May 2021

Amid debate recently around the workplace culture within Parliament House in Canberra, NDRI Adjunct Professor Nicole Lee wrote an article for The Conversation on whether alcohol testing MPs, as some female MPs had suggested, would help improve a ‘toxic workplace culture’.

As Nicole wrote, a ban on drinking while working is good policy but an alcohol ban or alcohol testing would not solve the broader problem of a sexist workplace culture.

“Alcohol causes disinhibition and can lead to poor decision making. So it is a risk factor for problems. It makes bad behaviour more likely, but it doesn’t cause those issues on its own. Attitudes that lead to sexual harassment and assault are a much more complex problem to solve.”