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RecoveryPlus Workplace

Recovery Plus: Workplace wellbeing 14 September 2016 Delegates at Deirdre Boyd’s presentation at Recovery Plus Workplace Wellbeing will leave with the ability to: 1. Explain and discuss the human and business cost of drug and alcohol use in the workplace 2. Identify ways to minimise these costs 3. Enumerate the financial and human benefits of investing in drug and alcohol policies for prevention and treatment 4. Justify investment in valuable employees 5. Evidence that you have carried out best practice 6. Acquire a list of helpful resources and expert contacts. How difficult? that 77% of employers believe alcohol is the No1 threat to employee wellbeing and encourages sickness absence, while 32% of employees owned up to being at work with a hangover and 15% to having been drunk at work – 85% of these confirmed it affects their performance or mood, while 10% said they "made lots of mistakes". Benefits of addressing substance use. ÈÈ Savings from investing in substance abuse treatment can exceed costs by 12 to 1 ÈÈ Substance-abuse treatment improves work performance and productivity ÈÈ It simultaneously reduces interpersonal conflicts, absenteeism, drug- and alcohol-related accidents and insurance costs ÈÈ Avoid the cost of replacing valuable employees which can be 25-200% of annual compensation – and avoid the consequent loss of institutional knowledge, service continuity and coworker productivity and morale ÈÈ 76% of people with drug or alcohol problems are employed – firing them won’t make the problem go away, but addressing the core issues can yield improvements ÈÈ At the extreme ends of the spectrum, errors due to substance use have cost £$millions to many individual organisations – witness oil disasters and ship/plane crashes – but reclaiming the lives of top directors and salespeople can earn extra £$millions for their companies. The cost of comprehensive insurance for alcohol treatment is very small. Actuarial estimates by SAMHSA suggest that upgrading employmentbased health insurance coverage would increase premiums by only 0.2%. Prevention is better than cure. Maintaining a healthier workforce can lower direct costs such as insurance premiums and worker’s compensation claims. It will also positively impact many indirect costs such as absenteeism and productivity. To improve the health of their employees, businesses can create a wellness culture that is employee-centred, provides supportive environments where safety is ensured and health can emerge, and gives access and opportunities for a variety of workplace health programmes. Here, the boss can be the hidden fighter in the war on drugs. Government should give more support to employers on this issue. Many businesses have implemented drug-free workplace programmes to develop and maintain a safer, happier working environment. Such is recognition of their value that these are championed by unions, too – for example, click on Unison’s overview. There is a checklist from mediation specialist ACAS on what should be included in a policy on drugs misuse at work. This is expanded on in the next article and typically covers: ÈÈ An extensive policy ÈÈ Supervisor coaching ÈÈ Employee training ÈÈ Employee assistance ÈÈ Drug testing. This last factor can encroach on an employee’s privacy/rights, so must be implemented with care. George Powell of Summit Diagnostics will be speaking on testing at the Recovery Plus: Workplace wellbeing conference in November. Problem employee Good employee


RecoveryPlus Workplace
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