Hoteliers have been urged to take the threat of alcoholism and drug abuse seriously, as staff face a tough year ahead due to the pressures of the recession.
Speaking at the Master Innholder's General Manager's Conference at London's Landmark hotel yesterday on behalf of the Ark Foundation, Jonathan Raggett, chief executive of Red Carnation Hotels, warned the coming year would be stressful, and that management had to be prepared to deal with addiction problems.
Raggett said: "There will be pay freezes, an increased expectancy to multi-task, a greater pressure on all of us and our staff.
"This will increase peoples' susceptibility to addiction of alcohol and drugs and you need to have a policy in place to deal with the issue. This will cost a whole lot more if we get this wrong."
Britain currently has the highest cocaine consumption in Europe and the fastest growing death toll due to cirrhosis of the liver. Alcohol-related absence alone costs the UK 17 million working days and £6b annually.
The Ark, which is part of industry charity Hospitality Action, works with a range of hospitality companies in order to take positive action to prevent alcohol and drug misuse.
By Gemma Sharkey
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