A Hessle-based independent commercial insurance broker has joined forces with Generis, the specialist alcohol and drug support service for employers, to help raise awareness of the growing issue faced by businesses in the Humber region. The Directors of HI Commercial want to help signpost business clients on how to support employees with alcohol and drug issues.
Generis is part of the charity, The Alcohol and Drug Service (ADS), aiming to address the misconceptions and concerns surrounding alcohol and drug usage. The service at ADS has evolved over 35 years in specialist Drug and Alcohol services, working in partnerships with the NHS and local authorities.
Luke Byron, Director at HI Commercial explains:
“As a commercial insurance broker, we know it’s of paramount importance to address the risk involving workers affected by alcohol and or drugs in safety critical sectors. However, we were surprised to find that the number of people, particularly those who are usually office-based, are actually the biggest group affected and make up the numbers seeking help from ADS.
“The training revealed startling statistics. We hadn’t expected that more senior employees and directors are more likely to be risking their health by using alcohol and drugs, than those in less senior positions. Case studies showed people exceeding the recommended weekly alcohol limit by more than ten times, and illegal drugs such as heroin and cocaine, being used to enhance performance and to aid relaxation from the stresses of the day.”
“Last year, CIPD research found the number of workers affected by these issues is growing. At that time, one in five employers failed to offer support to workers and only 12% provided one-off training for line managers.
“We are seeing real evidence of this and I believe the problem will continue to get worse as problems are being revealed to employers.
“It may seem like a difficult subject to broach with an employee or team mate, but Laura Jarvis from Generis shared tips on how to spot the signs and how to approach a person who may need support. A powerful message for employers is that even one person who works with a hangover is affecting productivity, morale and the bottom line. Multiply this across the workforce and the impact becomes enormous. I recommend the screening tools which give confidential feedback to the individual, an excellent platform to start conversations.”
Laura Jarvis from Generis explains:
“We know there is an issue out there. Numbers presenting to ADS have more than doubled since restrictions first came into place in March 2020. My message to anyone who is concerned, if something doesn’t seem right – a member of the team might be making mistakes or they do not appear to be fully engaged – managers and supervisors need the skills to identify the problem, approach that individual and signpost them for support. As it is not possible to train groups of people in the current climate, managers and supervisors can gather together in our virtual classroom.”