Speaking at a seminar for employers to share best practice in managing substance misuse in the workplace the Minister said that he was very impressed with the work that CORUS, in partnership with its trade unions, have undertaken in Port Talbot and Llanwern.
The company are working with local agencies to provide help for employees in dealing with substance misuse issues, without the fear that this will prejudice their employment.
The Minister said
“Having worked as a GP in the Afon Valley for many years, I have seen first hand the harm that substance misuse can cause to families, communities and society as a whole.
“The Welsh Assembly Government 10 year Substance Misuse Strategy, Working Together to Reduce Harm, highlights the action we need to take to prevent the harm substance misuse causes in the workplace.
“It is important that we educate and influence attitudes regarding levels of alcohol consumption across the whole of the workforce, management and employees alike. While most people who drink do so in moderation, alcohol misuse is a huge problem for many.
“There is no doubt that alcohol can impair work performance and this is applies equally to all employees, whether they are operating machinery or making decisions in the boardroom.
“It is in employers interest to help employees deal with such problems since the business consequences in terms of absenteeism, poor performance, accidents and the reputation of the organisation are significant.
“I would encourage organisations across Wales to implement similar policies to CORUS. To help with this I have launched best practice guidance and advice regarding alcohol in the workplace. The document also includes useful model policies which I hope will help all organisations to take forward substance policies for their employees.”
26 November 2009