Swanswell urges businesses to make tackling substance misuse a priority in 2014

16 January 2014

Businesses should make tackling substance misuse in the workplace a priority in 2014, according to Swanswell.

The national recovery charity, which wants to achieve a society free from problem alcohol and drug use, is calling on organisations to recognise that employees could be facing difficulties with alcohol or drugs, and to approach the subject sensitively and appropriately.

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. Employers are also faced with a number of legal and management issues around how to address the problem.       

Swanswell’s teamed up with the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (ACAS) to deliver a series of one-day training courses to help organisations identify and appropriately manage substance misuse among the workforce.

‘Understanding drug and alcohol use: an employer’s guide’ aims to dispel some of the common myths around substance misuse. It raises awareness of the different substances and their effects, and gives employers the confidence to deal with any related issues at work.

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 employee welfare.

New dates are now available for 2014 at ACAS venues across the country including: Birmingham on 06 February, London on 12 February, and Leeds on 25 February.

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 access to support and information that will help improve their health and wellbeing.

The start of a new year is a good opportunity to think about how your organisation deals with problem alcohol and drug use, and to get the advice you need to approach the subject sensitively and appropriately.’

For prices, terms and conditions or to book a place on ‘Understanding drug and alcohol use: an employer’s guide’, visit ACAS or see our training page. 

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