Help for employers to tackle impact of alcohol in the workplace
Innovative new Drink, Work & Me Employers’ Toolkit launched
ADDICTION NI, Business in the Community and the Social Research Centre have worked in partnership to launch a new Drink, Work and Me Employers’ Toolkit, designed to help businesses review, develop and implement an effective substance misuse policy within their organisations.
The toolkit has been developed as part of Drink, Work & Me, an employer-led, pioneering programme that seeks to help employees understand the wider impacts of alcohol, assisting them to make informed choices when using it. Nineteen companies have already participated in the programme which is funded by the Big Lottery Fund.
Launching the Toolkit at Parliament Buildings on Wednesday 15 June, Thelma Abernethy, CEO, Addiction NI explains: “As the third biggest cause of death in Northern Ireland, alcohol is a major issue in our society, and its misuse is the second greatest risk factor for cancer after smoking.
“With the heaviest drinkers tending to be concentrated among those of working age, we believe the workplace is the ideal setting to focus on the issue. This Toolkit has been specially designed to give employers the means, ideas, and information to provide appropriate wellbeing support to their workforce.
“Many employers want to support their staff who are experiencing alcohol-related harm but are unsure where to start. Drink, Work & Me is not an anti-alcohol campaign; it’s about ensuring employees in Northern Ireland have access to appropriate information and guidance at the right time in their lives to enable them to make informed choices about their alcohol use.
Amy Kieran from Business in the Community added: “Talking about alcohol use and misuse within the workplace should not off-limits. Instead, organisations should promote an open and friendly working culture where employees feel comfortable in speaking to their colleagues and manager about any concerns or issues they may have. This approach can assist any individuals who are experiencing problems and ensure they have access relevant support services as early as possible in order to reduce the impact on themselves, their colleagues, their family and the business. This Toolkit is a great way to achieve this, and we are delighted to release it as a valuable resource for business”.
Survitec Group was among the first cohort of businesses to participate in the Drink, Work & Me project and has now completed the programme, with all staff receiving the training. Managing Director, Moya Johnston is a strong advocate for the programme. She explains: “We became involved in Drink, Work & Me as part of our wider employee health and wellbeing approach. It has certainly raised awareness of the potential impact of alcohol misuse amongst our employees and has helped us to create a culture where employees feel free to confront any difficulties they may be experiencing. Drink, Work & Me has allowed us to address what is often a contentious issue from a strategic perspective whilst bringing a range of positive benefits to staff wellbeing.”
For more information, visit www.drinkworkandme.com
For more information contact: Lisa James T: (028) 9046 0606 M: 07714 755313 E: firstname.lastname@example.org
Notes to editor
- Addiction NI – Addiction NI is a registered charity providing treatment and support for people who are affected by alcohol or drug use. It provides tailor-made treatment programmes delivered in a community setting. It also gives confidential treatment and support for people affected by someone else’s drinking or drug use.
- Business in the Community stands for responsible business.
- We have a core membership of 850+ companies throughout the UK, including 75% of the FTSE 100. More than 260 of these companies are members in Northern Ireland and members employ almost 40% of the workforce in Northern Ireland.
- We work with companies to inspire, engage, support, and challenge them to continually improve their impact on society.
- The President of Business in the Community is HRH The Prince of Wales and the Chair of the Northern Ireland Board is Roy Adair, Belfast Harbour.
- SRC – The Social Research Centre (SRC) www.srcentre.co.uk is a specialist, independent, company providing professional social research services across the UK and in ROI to clients in not-for-profit sector. Key services include evaluation, performance management, consultation and involvement, audits of consultations and training in research, consultation and evaluation techniques.