Substance misuse assistance

November 22, 2018
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Public health England has released a new toolkit to help employers deal with workplace drug, alcohol and tobacco misuse issues. Is it worth a look?

In June 2018, Public Health England released a free “Drugs, alcohol and tobacco; toolkit for employers”. Amongst other things, it states that alcohol misuse costs the English economy £7.3 billion each year and an estimated 1.5 million people are addicted to prescription and over the counter medicines. It points out that these substances can affect performance, concentration or alertness. It also suggests that employers should support employees to make healthier choices. Is this really a matter for you?

Legally, it’s not up to you to influence your employees’ personal decisions. That said, its difficult to see why you shouldn’t support your employees to make healthier choices – after all, it could lead to reduced sickness absence rates and save you money and a headache.

Case study

There are over 55 pages in the toolkit and it contains some good advice. It explains the applicable laws and how to manage issues arising from the use of alcohol, drugs and tobacco. It contains several practical case studies involving real employers and signposts the reader to further help and resources.

Helpful resource

It is a useful resource for line managers, especially as it shows the misuse signs to watch for and how to raise concerns with employees. It has been written for employers of all sizes and those outside England may also find its content helpful.

If you would like a copy, please email [email protected]