Conference: Employers need to take alcohol more seriously

In the current harsh economic climate, employers need to take alcohol misuse much more seriously, to avoid the pitfalls of absenteeism, poor morale and lost business.

That’s the message of an international conference held at Glyndŵr University, Wrexham, on Wednesday 18 September.

The Alcohol Concern event “Alcohol and the world of work: International perspectives and solutions” is being held in partnership with Glyndŵr University, north Wales drug and alcohol agency CAIS, and Drink Wise North West based in Manchester.

Alcohol Concern Cymru Director, Andrew Misell said: “Alcohol is part of most of our social lives in the UK, and can play a big part in our relations with colleagues.

“But excessive drinking can lead to unhealthy workplaces, poor morale and lost productivity. In industries where safety is critical, the consequences can be even more serious.

“Many employers are alert to the dangers of illegal drugs, but alcohol is much more widely used and can have an equally serious impact.

“At this conference, we’re aiming to provide employers and employees with the tools they need to create and support healthy workplaces.”

The keynote speech will be from Dr Ruth Hussey OBE, the Chief Medical Officer for Wales, and a great international line-up of speakers will include:

  • Professor Karen Tocque from Glyndŵr University and Dr Lynne Kennedy from the University of Chester, on who’s drinking what in the UK, and why
  • Paul Baart from the Centre for Work and Health in the Netherlands, looking at online learning and support to create healthy workplaces
  • Michaela Graf from the Bureau for Addiction Prevention in Berlin, on engaging with young employees

Karen Tocque, of Glyndŵr University, said: “Glyndwr University is committed to real-life research on issues which impact everyday lives and to supporting employers, and the economy in North Wales, to prosper.

“We are delighted to be able to support such an important event and hope that the positive discussions and debate contribute to a greater understanding of the issue of alcohol in the workplace.”