NZ Drug Detection Agency boss Kirk Hardy is calling for employers to brush up on their drug and alcohol policies after an EMA survey reveals workers having accidents and near misses, being angry and rude to customers, and damaging property as a result of being under the influence of drugs at work.
Hardy, the international CEO and founder of the agency which spans both New Zealand and Australia, says a lot of employers don’t understand how to put together a workplace drug and alcohol policy that is legally robust.
Making matters worse, he says, many companies don’t implement their policies well, making it hard for any subsequent action to be upheld if challenged in court.
The EMA drug testing survey, conducted earlier this year, shows 63 percent of employers reckon an employee’s drug use has posed a risk in their workplace.
While 81 percent of the 149 companies surveyed say they have a drug policy, only 31 percent of them conducted a formal consultation process before implementing it.
Hardy says employers have an obligation to consult with workers when introducing a policy and those that don’t run the risk of creating a climate of fear.
He says there is no “one-size-fits-all” policy but suggests many industry groups have free resource information available to help members.
A simple policy may cost around $1500 from a lawyer, he says.
Article by Ruth Le Pla. email [email protected]
September 3, 2013