Employers may have to tackle problems relating to drug and alcohol misuse among employees at some time. It is estimated that problems caused by misuse cost UK industry £800 million per year. Problems caused by misuse disrupt business continuity and can cause financial instability. Also, there may be more severe consequences to employee’s health, safety and welfare.
All organisations have a duty of care to their employees. Drug and alcohol misuse can destroy the individual concerned. Also, it can have a detrimental effect on the wider workforce. This can also affect customers and so the organisation’s performance.
As a result, organisations must be aware of the potential problems. They should be confident that they have the expertise and drug and alcohol policy in place to deal with situations. The aim should be to drive drugs and alcohol out of the organisation, not the people. Implementation of a robust drug and alcohol testing programme is key. But it is also crucial to have a compliant drug and alcohol policy in place to underpin this process.