“17.3 Million Working Days are Lost Due to Alcohol, Alcohol Related Illnesses Cost Businesses and Organisations £1.8 Billion a Year. What is the Cost to Your Business or Organisation? Save Your Time & Money With One Sheet of Paper Using Our IBA Identification and Brief Advice Training”
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Alcohol misuse has a significant impact on employers and employees, with the cost to the U.K economy estimated to be around £6.4 billion which is around twice the amount that alcohol misuse costs the NHS. Around 25% of employees are likely to be drinking to a level which leads to time off due to sickness and loss of productivity.
Because of the effects alcohol misuse on the person the negative consequences are likely to spread to those around them in the workplace, a survey by Alcohol Concern showed that around two-thirds of employers (60%) were experiencing problems as a result another employees drinking. This leads to recruitment costs when the employee is unable to do their work, poor perception of the company by the customer, absenteeism and an increase in accidents.
Aviva stated ‘that almost a third of employees (32%) had been to work with a hangover and 15% had been drunk at work. One in 10 said this happened at least once a month, while one in 20 said it was once a week.
Of those who had gone to work with a hangover or had been drunk at work, 85% said it affected their performance or mood. More than a third (36%) found it hard to concentrate, while 35% admitted to being less productive and 42% felt tired to the point of being sleepy.
A quarter of workers (25%) said their drinking meant they did the minimum amount of work and went home as soon as possible and almost one in 10 “made lots of mistakes”.
Organisations can gain significant benefits for comparatively little investment by focusing on alcohol and other health issues.Ensuring that employees recognise that they have a problem and know how to get help or reduce their drinking reducing staff sickness rates, increasing productivity and reduces the loss of employees with significant skills due to alcohol related health issues.
The (HSE) Health and Safety Executive (1996) provide a guide for employers on alcohol at work. It suggests that 17% of personnel directors consider alcohol consumption a major problem in their organisations. Their concerns are specifically: poor performance/productivity, lateness and absenteeism, safety, morale and employee relations, poor behaviour/discipline and company image.
HSE suggest that all companies would benefit from development of an alcohol policy and describe what should be included in it. They suggest managers need to be trained specifically to address alcohol in the workplace. However, the Chartered Institute for Personnel and Development (CIPD 2007) carried out a survey of 505 Human Resource professionals in the UK who worked for organisations employing over a million people. They found that only 33% of employers trained their managers on alcohol and drug policy and management issues.
The workplace is an ideal setting for alcohol and other health prevention and interventions such as IBA/Identification and brief advice as most adults are employed and spend a lot of time there and employers have good reasons to motivate participation (Roman & Blum, 2002; Hodgins et al, 2009; Webb et al,
So how can we solve these problems with minimal investment? The IBA (Identification & Brief Advice) training is what you need if you want to reduce the costs of alcohol to your business or organisation. It is the most cost effective way to reduce the number of employees drinking at harmful levels and will provide you with:
- Alcohol awareness for employees. People often don’t realise that they are drinking too much and simple tools such as information on alcohol units can help them reconsider their behaviour.
- Staff Trained to deliver IBA. It doesn’t have to be only the occupational health department. Managers, supervisors and other employees can deliver evidence based Identification & Brief Advice which is basically a brief 10 – 15 minute chat.
- Resources for managers to provide to their staff. Such as leaflets, unit measurement wheels and clear guidelines on who to go to if they feel that they need further help.
- A workplace alcohol policy that sets out the procedures for helping an employee with an alcohol problem, including escalation if the person does not wish to change and their work is not acceptable. In 2007, the Chartered Institute for Personnel and Development (CIPD) found that fewer than six in ten employers have a policy that covers drug and/or alcohol misuse at work and only a minority of organisations proactively communicate these policies to all employees or train line managers to handle the issue appropriately.
Remember. Knowingly allowing an employee to continue working if affected by alcohol or drugs, when their behaviour places the safety of colleagues or clients at risk could make the employer liable to prosecution. Managers also have the responsibility to ensure the appropriate performance, capability and conduct of their staff. If alcohol misuse is impacting on these, a manger will be expected to intervene accordingly.
Managers in organisations with good alcohol workplace policies will be more likely and more confident to appropriately respond to or address such issues. It is important to note that many employers have successfully worked to support employees to overcome alcohol problems.
Studies show similar benefits in terms of reducing alcohol consumption, improving health outcomes and reducing costs (Hermansson et al, 1998 and 2010; Watson et al, 2009; Webb, 2009). A business case can be made based on evidence showing the cost effectiveness of IBA in the workplace with reductions in health and social costs (Watson et al, 2009; Ensuring Solutions to Alcohol Problems, 2008). A US study showed that a saving to the employer of $771 (approximately £480 at March 2011 rate) per employee receiving IBA could be made over the four year study period (Quanbeck, 2010).
We are currently developing this page. However, if you would like more information about Identification and brief advice (IBA) Behaviour Change Training in the meantime then please contact us.