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PERSONNEL CHIEFS SEEK CRACKDOWN ON DRINK AND DRUG ABUSE

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Human resources managers want a crackdown on alcohol and drugs, with random testing and a ban on lunchtime boozing,...
Human resources managers want a crackdown on alcohol and drugs, with random testing and a ban on lunchtime boozing, a report reveals.

Four out of ten managers who took part in a survey run by Personnel Today and Alcohol Concern either carry out tests already or plan to introduce them over the next year.

The report also reveals that employers in safety-sensitive sectors fear in-house policies may not be enough - particularly with the government proposing a new law on corporate manslaughter.

And one NHS HR manager argues for a ban on alcohol consumption during working hours.

More than 300 HR professionals took part in the survey. Of those, six out of ten said their organisation had had problems because employees misused alcohol, and one in four reported drug-related problems.

But only seven out of ten provide soft drinks at work-related events, three out of ten allow staff to drink while doing business with other organisations, and one in ten has its own bar on the premises.

Although lunchtime drinking was permitted in half the organisations at present, three out of four HR professionals taking part in the survey thought it should be banned.

They claimed that three out of four organisations had experienced absenteeism as a result of alcohol misuse, six out of ten had suffered poor performance, and four out of ten had invoked their disciplinary procedure.

Anne Millard, deputy director of HR at Forth Valley Acute Hospitals trust, is quoted in the Personnel Today article arguing for a ban on drinking during work time.

'In the public sector, people should not be allowed to consume alcohol in working hours. That's because we work closely with the public and it's very much against the trust policy,' she told the magazine.

'I can understand that in the private sector that culture would be quite different'.

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