Informed workforce key to tackling substance misuse-related sickness absence, says Swanswell
10 January 2013
An informed workforce is key to helping employers reduce the £7.8 billion cost of sickness absence caused by alcohol or drug misuse, says Swanswell.
According to statistics, British industry loses £6.4 billion per year due to sickness caused by alcohol use and £1.4 billion per year due to drug use (Cabinet Office). Employers are also faced with a number of legal and management issues around how to approach the issue.
So Swanswell, a national charity which wants to achieve a society free from problem alcohol and drug use, has launched a new training course in association with the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (ACAS) to help organisations identify and appropriately address substance misuse among employees.
‘Understanding drug and alcohol use: an employer’s guide’ will help dispel some of the common myths around alcohol and drug use.
The course will raise awareness of the different substances and their effects, and gives employers the confidence to tackle substance misuse in the workplace.
It’s aimed at business owners, HR and personnel professionals, line managers, heads of departments and team leaders, health and safety officers, occupational health officers or anyone else with a responsibility for managing the welfare of the workforce.
On Thursday 7 February 2013, Swanswell’s running a one-day course in association with ACAS in Birmingham, which is open to employers throughout the UK (subject to booking, payment and place availability).
Sharon Smyth, Swanswell’s Talent Development Manager, said: ‘Businesses are losing billions of pounds every year due to sickness absence caused by alcohol or drug use, yet many employers aren’t sure about the best way to deal with these issues.
‘In this economy, it’s vital that organisations do all they can to reduce the cost of this type of absence effectively, while ensuring their employees have the necessary support to improve their health and wellbeing.
‘There can be many complex reasons behind someone’s alcohol or drug misuse, so Swanswell’s training course will give employers the tools they need to approach the subject sensitively and appropriately.
‘Most importantly, it will help them give employees access to the information they need to make informed choices about alcohol and drugs, so they can be productive and live a happy and healthy lifestyle.’
To book a place on ‘Understanding drug and alcohol use: an employers’ guide’ or to find out more about Swanswell’s other open training courses, visit our training pages.