Minster for Sport Richard Caborn MP has urged hospitality employers to consider the moral and commercial imperatives of addressing drug and alcohol abuse among employees.
The minister was talking today at the launch of the Ark Foundation's Ark for Business consultancy service at the House of Commons in London.
Caborn said the benefits of doing so "will hit the bottom line of the balance sheet in a positive way".
Since 2000, the Ark Foundation has been educating hospitality students, employees and managers on the dangers of drug and alcohol dependency.
Its new Ark for Business initiative offers employers a dedicated alcohol and drug consultancy resource that commences with a "company health check" to establish an organisation's specific needs.
Ark for Business then assists clients with drug and alcohol policy design, employee education and awareness, and management training.
Speaking on behalf of the Ark Foundation, broadcaster Alastair Stewart stressed the tangible commercial benefits to implementing a robust dependency policy and raising awareness about drugs and alcohol, revealing alcohol-related absence alone costs UK industry £6b a year.
Employers need to have a policy that is "engrained in the DNA of the company", he said. "Not having a policy means limited defence against a growing and costly problem. You need to say to your employees, ‘you are valuable to us but you have a burden'."
For more information about The Ark for Business, call 0870 351 0160.
By Mark Lewis
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