It is to their credit that many employers take a supportive stance with regards to any of their employees who have a drug addiction. For them, making sure that the employee receives help and is able to attend drug rehab sessions, is far more important than seeking to punish the individual, as is the case with employers who go for immediate dismissal without any reference to what underlying issues might exist.
Of course, not every employer has a choice, and they may legally be obliged to dismiss an employee who is working under the influence of drugs. This would apply to industries where safety is put at risk by someone whose performance is severely impaired due to drug use, such as an airline pilot or a maternity nurse.
Carrot or Stick Approach?
To even get to the point where an employer can act to either discipline an individual or get them started on the route to rehabilitation, they must first be aware that a drug problem exists. It is often unlikely that an employee will volunteer the revelation that they are addicted to drugs, although that does not mean none will. This very much depends whether the company rewards honesty and provides support, or discipline and punishment rule supreme within the company.
There have been many cases where an employee, who feels that their drug use has become a serious problem for them, has approached their employer in order to seek their help and support. Obviously, this is more likely to happen if the employer has created policies within their business where employees feel they can open up about their problems and know that they will be supported, rather than castigated and sacked.
Testing Reveals All And Benefits All
Regardless of what kind of regime exists within a company, drug testing will play a major role in identifying those who are taking drugs. It can be used to confirm the suspicions you might have about an employee, or on a random basis, which may catch someone who would otherwise try to avoid having to take a drugs test.
There are also many benefits that accrue from drug testing, and these can apply, not just the employer, but also to the employees too.
Some of these benefits are outlined below.
Ensures That You Maintain a Safe And Healthy Workplace
Providing a safe and healthy workplace is a legal obligation, and if someone is working under the influence of drugs, and putting their colleagues at risk, then ultimately, that is your responsibility if you never drug test your employees. By testing for drugs, you can catch anyone who comes to work and whose performance is impaired by their use of drugs. It also helps to eliminate the risk of them causing an accident or causing an injury to a fellow worker.
Helps Eliminate The Cost Of And Risk Of Employing Someone Who Is Using Drugs
This is covered by pre-employment drug testing which many companies now insist that all prospective employees must take. Anyone refusing to take the test should be eliminated from consideration, as should someone who fails the drug test. Better to stop a problem before it even exists.
Promotes Good Health And Educates Employees On The Risks Of Drug Use
A drug-testing program should not just be used in isolation with regards to catching those employees who use drugs. It should instead form part of a larger program of education for your employees, and taking that a stage further, support for those who need helping in starting the journey towards drug rehabilitation.