Newly published research shows that one in five employers fail to offer proactive support to their workers with drug and alcohol misuse issues.
This latest data comes from a new report, ‘Managing Drug and Alcohol Misuse at Work’, from the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD).
There are concerns that more people will be turning to alcohol and drugs to cope with the anxiety of not only a pandemic, but the economic uncertainty that has followed.
In fact, 27% of employees said their alcohol consumption has increased as a result of Covid-19 and the related restrictions.
Those reporting a high workload were also more likely to say their alcohol consumption had increased (31%) compared to those saying their workload was about right (24%).
However, few employers currently train managers about their organisation’s drug and alcohol policies and procedures – just 12% provide one-off training for line managers and only a quarter (25%) provide regular refresher training. Just a quarter (26%) train managers to recognise the symptoms of drug and alcohol problems, or improving management practice more generally, for example how to manage and support employees (32%).
Dr Jill Miller, Senior Policy Adviser at the CIPD, said, “With around a quarter of people saying that their alcohol consumption has increased over the last few months, this has the potential to negatively impact on their work.
“It is vitally important for organisations to recognise drug or alcohol misuse as a health, safety and employee wellbeing concern, not just a disciplinary issue. Support for people struggling with alcohol and drug misuse must be part of an organisations’ wellbeing offering. By having a clear policy in place that sets expectations about behaviour and prioritises genuine support for wellbeing, employers can create a safe environment where people feel able to ask for support. This could encourage people to seek help before a concern becomes a real issue.
“Organisations must also train line managers so they feel confident to respond appropriately to an employee disclosing a problem with alcohol or drugs, as well as guidance on how to support them to get help. Line managers are best placed to manage workloads, spot early warning signs of issues, and signpost people to support, but they need to have the training to feel confident and capable to do so effectively.”
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