Addiction NI highlights Alcohol Awareness Week in the Workplace

Dr. Claire Armstrong, Director of Addiction NI and Roy McLoughlin, Staff Welfare Manager from Translink highlight the issue of alcohol in the workplace during Alcohol Awareness Week.

Alcohol misuse is more prevalent in Northern Ireland this is manifesting in local workplaces. It is paramount that local businesses have policies and procedures in place to effectively detect and treat employees who are dependent on alcohol.

The affects of alcohol abuse are felt throughout the community and there are economic consequences such as “presenteeism”, when employees show up for work under the influence or hung-over and are therefore less active and productive. Other consequences are absenteeism, unemployment and the premature mortality of people of working age. The DHSSPS estimates that presenteeism costs Northern Ireland businesses £77.5 Million, compared to the £33Million in costs of absenteeism due to alcohol related sickness.

Dr Claire Armstrong, Director of Addiction NI stated “These figures show that alcohol is becoming an increasing problem across society and even in our workplaces. The problems and dependency on alcohol can be easily hidden, and while alcohol misuse is more commonly associated with the unemployed Addiction NI know that alcohol is affecting our local businesses.”

Roy McLoughlin from Translink said “At Translink we are always mindful of public safety and the wellbeing of our employees. As alcohol is a growing issue in Northern Ireland any responsible employer should have the provisions in place to prevent, detect and treat alcohol abuse in their workplace. Translink have already taken these vital steps to keep both our employees and passengers safe and well.”

Dr Armstrong continued “Alcohol abuse is increasing across all demographics as alcohol is more accessible and cheaper than ever before. Addiction NI wants everyone to be able to enjoy a drink and relax in a responsible manner that avoids alcohol dependency.”

Added by
Danielle Ross