Do you know if your employees are taking drugs or misusing alcohol in work time? Drug taking was found to be a big issue for younger people, after 90% of people admitting to using drugs through the following survey, were aged under 30 years old.
2,600 workers were polled in a survey by protecting.co.uk from offices, factories, retail and the public sector.
85% of employees admitted they have been drunk in the workplace in the last year and 28% have admitted to drug use (legal highs, cannabis and other illegal narcotics) whilst at work. 31% of people also admitted to being drunk at work, at least once a week.
This survey showed that office workers were the most likely to be drunk at work whilst retail and public sector workers are more likely to be sober. But 14% of factory workers admitted that they had drunk alcohol on their breaks and then operated machinery, whilst 5% of factory workers admitted to using machinery after taking drugs at work.
This shows that employers HR departments need to make it clear that drug use and alcohol misuse is unacceptable, and policies need to be enforced. If these policies are not enforced there is an increased risk of an accident as the employee puts both themselves and the workforce in danger.
What should you do about it?
Acas, a free employment advice service, said employers have to have an alcohol and drug related policy in place, as it’s becoming increasingly common. The policy should be introduced to employees so trade unions know what the policy is, what is expected of them and the implications are if the policy is broken.
The policy should be then linked to the disciplinary policy so employees are aware these things could potentially lead to dismissal or a misconduct issue.
However it’s not suggested that you dismiss employees on the spot, if concerns are raised suspension should happen, however if they are drunk they shouldn’t be allowed to drive home. The suspected employee should be suspended, investigated and then a final decision be made.