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Employers need to be proactive in addressing drug and alcohol misuse intensified by the pandemic

Makbool Javaid, Partner - Simons Muirhead & Burton

The CIPD report ‘Managing drug and alcohol misuse at work’, stresses the need for employers to take a preventative and proactive approach to drug and alcohol misuse. This comes at a time when the research found that the coronavirus pandemic and the current period of economic uncertainty could make people feel more anxious or vulnerable e.g. 27% of employees said their alcohol consumption has increased as a result of the coronavirus pandemic and related restrictions. The report highlights that just 12% of employers provide one-off training on policies and procedures for line managers and only 26% train managers to recognise the symptoms of drug and alcohol problems. The CIPD say that these findings are of concern when 35% of employers have disciplined someone in the past two years for alcohol misuse and 26% for drug misuse. Employers should also note the latest ONS statistics which show that 19.2% of adults were likely to be experiencing some form of depression during the coronavirus pandemic in June 2020; this is almost double the 9.7% experiencing depression before the pandemic in the period July 2019 to March 2020

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