In the Workplace

Addictions in the Workplace

If as an employer you are asking if this really is your concern, take a look at the bottom line. Whether alcohol, drugs, gambling, gaming, food, social media or online addictions – all have an impact on the individual’s ability to perform at work and incur substantial costs for your business:

  • Accidents in the workplace  – due to an employee’s inebriation from drug and/or alcohol or a resultant hangover
  • Health and Safety breaches – due to an employee’s inebriation from drugs and/or alcohol or a resultant hangover
  • Fraud – this can be caused through the need for additional funds to “feed” their habit, be it gambling, drugs, alcohol, sex etc.
  • Criminal charges brought against an employee could affect the reputation of your business/be levied also against you
  • Absenteeism – an employee’s time away from work due to illness or disability
  • Lost productivity – an employee’s inability to perform their duty due to absence or inability to function to a high standard
  • Presenteeism – decrease in productivity in employees whose health problems have not necessarily led to absenteeism
  • Re-training costs through loss of skills – it is actually significantly cheaper to fund treatment than to dismiss and recruit
  • Co-worker/team moral – other workers can become demoralised by having to “cover” for a colleague or to correct their mistakes etc.

If addiction remains a hidden problem it can become a costly and damaging force.  Equally, if employers routinely take the dismissal route there are cost implications; disciplinary, competency, gross misconduct or dismissal proceedings, tribunals, lost management time, reduced productivity as well as less tangible costs relating to health and safety, breaking employment law and negligence laws surrounding ‘duty of care’.

Consider too the time it takes to advertise, recruit, interview and train a new employee to the same competency level; if that ‘hire’ is successful (also a risk) this process could still cost the business 12-18 months. Western Counselling can help you tackle substance misuse in your workplace, or call us now to set up a free initial consultation meeting.

Supporting Employers Through Addiction

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