Why is an awareness of drug and alcohol use by employees important to your company?

LTP Corporate Training (LTPCT) believes that managers and staff who have information and support to deal with these issues are more able to contribute to the success of the company and reduce turnover and improve morale and productivity.

  • Up to 17 million working days are lost each year because of alcohol-related sickness and the cost to employers of sick days due to drink is estimated at £2 billion a year [1]
  • The total annual cost to the economy is estimated to be £7.3bn. [5]
  • In a recent survey 22% of London businesses reported absenteeism due to drug misuse [2]
  • 1% of young adults (16-24 year olds) have experimented with illicit drugs. 15.1%of this group have used an illicit drug within the last month. [3]
  • 25% of those seeking assistance with their drug problem are in work and the majority of people with drink problems are in employment [4]

It is tempting to assume this to be a problem that affects others, or perhaps only companies with hundreds of employees. This is simply not true. Most employers can at some time expect to encounter problems related to substance misuse. However, it is important to keep things in proportion. Whilst alcohol and drug abuse issues are often sensationalised, no employer can afford to ignore the risks to their company and staff. In responding to a substance misuse incident, modest preparation can pay huge dividends. Whilst the number of people who develop a serious drug or alcohol problem is statistically small (approximately 2% of drug users and around 4% of drinkers) the impact on individuals, employers and society is enormous.

Think of the impact on your organisation if staff are impaired by drink or drugs. In a small business, one person with a drug or alcohol problem may be 10% of the workforce.

LTPCT provides an understanding of the signs, effects and risks of drug and alcohol use. It also sets out a best practice approach to dealing with substance-related problems at work. During our training safety concerns are addressed and the appropriate actions detailed in company policy and staff handbook, mean that everyone is clear about the expectations and consequences of actions taken by individuals.  Having a robust policy that is clear and straightforward is vital, so that all staff members are clear and consistent action is taken to deal with incidents.  It can also contribute to various awards showing support for staff, such as Investors in People and Corporate Social Responsibility.

LTPCT supports companies Corporate Social Responsibility in various ways.

The European Commission has defined CSR as the responsibility of enterprises for their impact on society. They have stated ‘CSR should be company led. Public authorities can play a supporting role through a smart mix of voluntary policy measures and, where necessary, complementary regulation.’

Companies can become socially responsible by:

  • Following the law; LTPCT ensure understanding of the current legislation and awareness of organisations for continuous support.
  • Integrating social, environmental, ethical, consumer, and human rights concerns into their business strategy and operations. LTPCT support all levels of learning throughout your organisation.

LTP Corporate Training work with managers to ensure the policy contains several key elements, clearly stating the rules regarding both the use of drugs and alcohol at work and away from work if performance is affected and the actions taken if a staff member is found to be either using or under the influence at work.

Equally, all organisations should recognise that dependency should be treated in the same way as any other illness either mental or physical.

Health and safety regulations state that all employers have a general duty to ensure the health, safety and welfare of their employees and employees are required to take reasonable care of themselves and others and if substance use is putting others in danger.  Knowing the legal position of a company with regard to all aspects of substance use (including alcohol) should prevent any unwitting legal issues and managers can be confident that their actions are in accordance with current legislation.

Many companies now test their employees; that is an individual decision for that company, however for example, many who are driving company vehicles or even to and from work do not realise that they may be over the drink drive limit the next day. LTP Driver Training is a Driving Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) Approved Provider of the Drink Drive Rehabilitation Courses which is delivered nationally throughout Britain. We receive referrals from the Ministry of Justice and provide a course which legally entitles individuals to receive their licences back early due to the lower risk they have become during this course.

We can reduce employees risk during our Corporate Training, with our professional, qualified and skilled training team. We can provide information regarding testing procedures and equipment.

Substance use not just illegal but also prescribed medication has many issues associated with its use. A valued staff member finding themselves in difficulty may be unwilling to approach a manager for fear of reprisal.  Supporting staff through these issues can result in a successful outcome for both, with increased productivity and the company’s reputation enhanced as an employer that people wish to work for.

LTPCT Provide 2 Corporate training days:

Management Training: A full day assessing Management responsibility

Step 1Assessment – Find out if there is a problem

Step 2 Policy and Procedure – Decide what to do

Step 3 Supporting Staff – Taking action

Step 4 Continuous Support – Checking what you have done

 

Employees Training Session: Half day session increasing staff awareness

Step 1Assessment – Find out if there is a problem

Step 2 Policy and Procedure – What is your responsibility

Should your company require external support for a staff member; LTPCT provide a referral process to Red Umbrella a leading UK Addiction referral Agency. www.red-umbrella.co.uk

Explore our website for further details

Contact our admin team email: admin@ltpct.co.uk or Tel: 01476 515936

References:

1 A Maynard (Yorkshire Addictions Research Training and Information Consortium)
2 London Chamber of Commerce
3 British Crime Survey, Home Office
4 Economic Activity and Social Functioning of Adults with Psychiatric Disorders, OCPS, HMSO
5 (Home Office November 2012)