“Drugs, alcohol and tobacco: a toolkit for employers”

The misuse of alcohol and drugs, and ill-health caused by smoking, make a considerable contribution to workplace absence. This has a significant cost to business and the economy. The economic burden of alcohol, for example, is substantial – it is estimated that the annual cost in the UK is between 1.3% and 2.7% of annual GDP.

Given the impact that substance misuse can have on employers, it is in their interest to address this issue within their approach to support the health and wellbeing of their workforce.

Public Health England and Business in the Community have developed this toolkit to assist businesses of all sizes and also includes case studies from employers in a range of sectors, demonstrating best practice in this area, with practical advice.

It takes the approach that the most effective workplace health and wellbeing programmes adopt a holistic approach, with sensitive issues, such as tobacco, alcohol and drug misuse, addressed as a whole, rather than in isolation.

The toolkit explains:

  • the legal context that will inform organisations’ approach
  • how employers can manage issues arising from the use of alcohol, drugs and tobacco and how this fits in wwith wider health promotion and improvement approaches
  • how organisations can monitor and evaluate the impact of their approach

A useful seven-step checklist of actions is also included, helping employers to take decisive and clear steps to addressing this important issue and providing support to staff in need.

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