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Western Australian employers urged to look out for health issues

Western Australian employers urged to look out for health issues (Last Updated On: June 9, 2015)

Western Australia’s current economic climate is causing uncertainty for employees in a number of industries. The leading drug and alcohol counselling service in Western Australia, Holyoake, is worried rising stress levels amongst workers will lead to substance abuse.

The slowing of the mining boom, along with the shrinking Australian dollar brings with it redundancy and employment relations issues. The Chief Executive of Holyoake, Angie Paskevicius, has focused on what employers can do to protect both their businesses and their employees. There is a risk that businesses will ignore stress related issues, this may result in workplace accidents, injuries, absenteeism and presenteeism.

Presenteeism is when an employee is present at work but not productive due to factors such as stress or a lack in motivation. FIFO workers and workers in the construction industry are the main concern, especially young apprentices. Unhealthy coping mechanisms such as methamphetamine use is a significant issue in Western Australia, and employers need to be on the lookout to protect the welfare of their employees and businesses.

According to Ms. Paskeyicius, currently in Australia, substance misuse costs more than $3.7 billion a year and mental health issues costs $10.9 billion. The impacts of these health issues on businesses is staggering, much of the strain due to absenteeism, presenteeism and compensation claims.

Ms. Paskeyicius urges employers to be supportive and host support groups for employees. A study conducted by Ohio University in the US, found that businesses who were mindful of their employee’s stress levels and exercised stress intervention programs, decreased their stress levels by 40%. Some initiatives include yoga, light stretching, meditation and music.

Employsure can help to protect the health of your employees by ensuring that you have the correct employment policies and procedures in place. Are you currently providing your staff with the correct personal leave entitlements? Do you know your obligations as an employer of apprentices? Do you have a drug and alcohol policy in place?

If you answered no to any of these questions, call Employsure today on 1300 651 415.

Sourced: ABC News

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