A Guide To Alcohol And Drugs Influence At Workplace

A Guide To Alcohol And Drugs Influence At Workplace



In recent years,​ there are increasing numbers of​ people who turn up work under the​ influence of​ alcohol and drugs. According to​ a​ survey conducted by the​ Health and Safety Executive in​ 1994,​ 90% of​ personnel directors from top UK organisations stated that alcohol consumption was a​ problem for their organisation. 18% of​ large company directors reported illegal drug use by their employees in​ 2004,​ a​ survey through the​ Chartered Institute of​ Personnel Development and the​ Reward Group 2004.

The impact of​ an​ employee under the​ influence of​ alcohol or​ drugs in​ the​ work place could be:
? Poor discipline and violent behaviour
? Safety endangered for everyone at​ the​ workplace
? Effect on​ employee relations and team morale
? Poor performance and loss of​ efficiency
? Lateness and absenteeism
? Unpleasant effects on​ company image and customer relations.

Under the​ Health and Safety at​ Work etc Act 1974,​ it’s the​ responsibilty of​ company directors to​ take into account,​ as​ far as​ is​ reasonably practicable,​ the​ health,​ safety and welfare of​ its employees. a​ director could be prosecuted if​ he deliberately allowed an​ employee under the​ influence of​ drugs and/or excessive alcohol to​ continue working whilst placing the​ employee or​ others at​ risk. Likewise,​ employees are also responsible to​ take sensible care of​ themselves and others who could be affected by what they perform. Eg: if​ you’re working in​ a​ transport industry,​ the​ Transport and Works Act 1992 makes it​ a​ criminal offence for certain employees to​ be unfit through drink and/or drugs while working on​ railways,​ buses,​ tramways and other guided transport systems. the​ operators of​ the​ transport system would also be guilty of​ an​ offence unless they had shown all due diligence in​ trying to​ prevent such an​ offence being committed.

How to​ Deal with the​ Situation?
First of​ all,​ an​ employer should investigate whether the​ incident happen was a​ one-off,​ occurs on​ a​ regular basis or​ he/she has underlying medical conditions (eg: depression,​ stress). Research has shown that many employees tend to​ use drugs/alcohol to​ cope with their work-related stress.

If your employee has such medical conditions,​ provide a​ doctor consultation and confidential support through her/his problem. This could help stop the​ behavior.

Before a​ fair dismissal takes place,​ the​ employer is​ expected to​ observe the​ whole situation,​ and offer support. Care needs to​ be taken before taking disciplinary action.

Without any proof or​ reasonable grounds,​ employers cannot simply report an​ employee for a​ suspected criminal offence. Such action could result in​ an​ employee claiming constructive or​ unfair dismissal.

To prevent such situation happen,​ directors can introduce a​ policy of​ random drug and alcohol testing and conduct pre-employment testing for illegal drugs and alcohol misuse.

To verify whether you have the​ adequate alcohol and drug policy,​ seek advice from a​ specialist employment lawyer. Visit Find a​ Solicitor to​ get the​ nearest experienced employment specialist solicitor.

If you would like additional information or​ help,​ you may want to​ contact the​ organizations below:


Advisory Conciliation and Arbitration Service (ACAS)
Brandon House,​
180 Borough High Street
London SE1 1LW
Helpline: 08457 47 47 47
ACAS can provide advice to​ employers and employees on​ the​ employment and industrial relations implications of​ policies on​ alcohol at​ work.

Alcohol Concerns
First Floor
8 Shelton Street
London WC2H 9JR
Tel: 020 7395 4000
Alcohol Concern can put you in​ touch with local alcohol advisory services,​ in​ particular those that are members of​ the​ Federation of​ Workplace Alcohol Advisory Services (FEDWAAS).




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