Employers seeking to dismiss an employee for drunkenness at work should ensure that any alcohol policy has been properly communicated to staff and that an alcoholic employee is fully aware that disciplinary action will be taken if he does not seek treatment. Failure to do so will make the dismissal unfair, but the employee's drunkenness will be contributory conduct reducing the compensation award, even where related to an illness such as alcoholism. The EAT has ruled that totally unacceptable conduct in an employment context cannot be excused by reference to a background or underlying illness and will still be considered blameworthy, justifying a reduction in compensation. (Sinclair v Wandsworth Council, EAT)