Support is key to tackling drink and drug problems

first_img Comments are closed. Previous Article Next Article Employers are being urged to tackle drink and drugs problems at work afterresearch revealed that UK industry loses about £2bn a year through relatedillnesses. The report from the London Chamber of Commerce found 43 per cent of firmshave no workplace alcohol and drugs policy. The business body is calling on employers to conduct random tests on staffto combat substance problems in the workplace. Sally Storey, HR director for Bournewood Community & Mental Health NHSTrust, said it was important to support staff who have substance abuseproblems. “I’m not surprised by the fact that 43 per cent of firms have noworkplace policy in place. My experience is that the public sector is wellahead of these issues.” “But you also need a support mechanism for staff with drug and alcoholproblems. In our trust, we have a confidential counselling service to helpstaff with problems.” Other findings from the report reveal that workplace problems may resultfrom staff getting drunk or taking drugs outside office hours as well as duringthem. The research found that workers are more likely to admit to a drinkproblem if they feel it will be dealt with as a health problem and not resultin immediate disciplinary measures. Piers Merchant, director of campaigns at the London Chamber, said,”Companies need to treat such problems very sensitively and offer as muchsupport as possible. They should devise properly thought-out policies on how totackle the problem and how to deal with employees found to be under theinfluence of alcohol and drugs.” He added, “As part of their overall approach, some companies mightconsider measures such as a complete ban on drinking during working hours orrandom alcohol or drugs tests.” By Karen Higginbottom Related posts:No related photos. Support is key to tackling drink and drug problemsOn 26 Jun 2001 in Personnel Todaylast_img

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