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Absenteeism due to drink

18th September 2007

A national survey has revealed that up to 40% of employers feel alcohol misuse is a major cause of absenteeism and poor productivity in the workplace.

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The research, which was carried out by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD), also found that a third of firms believe drugs had a similar impact.

The CIPD said more needed to be done by firms to rehabilitate those with drug and drink problems, particularly with government figures estimating that drink-related problems costs British industry about £2bn a year.

The survey found that 22% of employers currently test staff for misuse of drugs and alcohol, with another 9% planning to introduce some form of testing, while about a third of organisations said they had sacked workers in the last two years due to alcohol problems.

Over 25% of those surveyed also said staff found to have used illegal drugs would be reported to the police.

CIPD say that that firms which help their staff overcome such problems had a good success rate in getting them back to work but only half of the 500 employers quizzed gave access to counselling for workers fighting dependencies on drink or drugs, with just 38% offering coordinated rehabilitation.

CIPD employer relations adviser Ben Willmott said: "Where organisations do have policies they are doing very little to actively promote them. Clearly drug and alcohol misuse is an issue which needs to be taken seriously. Yet only a third of employers train managers in how to manage these sorts of issues at work."

 

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