The DTC fully understand employers who are reluctant to do comprehensive drug screening tests on the basis that they are unsure as to how many of their staff would be affected and thus potentially lose if they fail the test.
The DTC want to put you at ease and work with you to develop a policy/program that is intended to educated and rehabilitate your employees so that you remain compliant with your Health and Safety obligations as well as maintaining your work force.
Before the implementation of the Policy, The DTC is available to visit your site to speak with your team and explain to them the process and the key points of the Policy and requirements.This approach will allow the team to fully understand and ask us questions as to the way ahead. It will also remove your company from the face of the testing.Our educational material will leave your team in no doubt as to the steps ahead.This approach is non-confrontational – we all work together to understand the effects of drugs and alcohol in the work place and the dangerous consequences that employees under the influence can have on themselves and others.
Spread your testing out – so for example, instead of doing 10 a month on the 1 day, do 2-3 a week.This approach will mitigate any issues with multiple employees returning a non-negative result at the same time. This means you will minimise any effect on your company moving forward.
Having a robust discretion system in place when determining whether you want to attempt to rehabilitate the employee.
For eg you could:
– Seek an explanation as to why they returned a non-negative result
– Stand the employee down for a specific period of time (2 days or until such time as he/she is no longer impaired)
– Inform the employee that they are required to undergo a test before returning to work at their cost. However, if the employee passes, they can be reimbursed for that cost.
– Implement a rehabilitation program as per The DTC Policy and disciplinary guidelines.This approach will give the employee every opportunity to get clean and return to work. Showing that you are a fair and reasonable employer together with fulfilling the company’s obligation under the H&S Act.
If the employee fails again, you may want to consider whether you really want to keep an employee who continues to put himself and others at risk not to mention the reputational risks to the company.
We’re not about “catching” anyone out. We’re about working with all parties to ensure everyone goes home safe to their families/friends.
Drug and alcohol testing in the workplace requires your business to have a current Drug And Alcohol Policy.
With the New Year well underway, business planning is top of mind. Make sure you have a Drug And Alcohol Policy implemented in your business for the year ahead.
Implementing a Drug And Alcohol Policy need not be put into the ‘to hard basket’ anymore. Using a specialist business like The Drug Testing Company will simplify the process. The DTC will develop a Drug And Alcohol Policy that is personalised to your company.
As with any new implementation of policy, this will affect existing personnel. This consultation process can seem a daunting task for some management to work through. However, this need not be the case. The DTC can do all the consultation with your staff on your behalf and then you’re good to go.
With the new Health and Safety laws in effect, it has now become common practice for companies to introduce Workplace Drug and Alcohol Testing. Be on the front foot this year and plan to have a Drug And Alcohol Policy for your business.
Have questions? Find the answers to some important FAQ’s here.
With the new Health and Safety laws coming into effect earlier this year, it has now become common practice for companies to introduce Workplace Drug and Alcohol Testing.
Employees under the influence of Drugs and Alcohol in the workplace is not as uncommon as you may think. These employees pose a substantial risk to other employees and the business. However there is still some misgivings about drug testing and some of the feedback we have received is that some companies had worries about what would happen if they implemented a policy.
Here are some FAQ’s about Workplace Drug And Alcohol Testing:
Why does my company need a drug and alcohol policy?
Under the Health and Safety in Employment Act, employers must take practical steps to provide a safe working environment for their employees. This would include ensuring your staff come to work fit and able to work free from the influences of Drugs and or Alcohol. If there is a Policy in place, there are clear guidelines and expectations put on your staff that would ensure a safer working environment.
We have it in our contracts that all employees sign, that’s enough aye?
Unfortunately not. There is nothing in the Employment Relations Act that allows employers to drug test their staff. The right to do so comes from the Health and Safety Act. This means that you need to have a policy in place that clearly points out the rights and obligations of all parties. This policy has to be separate from the employment contract. The contract itself should only refer to your commitment to health and safety and the requirement of all staff to follow and adhere to the policies and the fact that non adherence may be viewed as serious misconduct. We can help you with what the correct wording should be.
If I drug tested my staff, I may not have any staff left.
That statement alone is a scary thought in that, the employer must know or have a feeling that his/her staff wouldn’t pass a drug test. Turning a blind eye to a situation isn’t going to solve an issue where an accident occurs and the cause is put down to staff being under the influence of Drugs and or Alcohol. Employers are now personally liable and upon conviction, a possible jail term, if they fail or refuse to mitigate a known H&S problem. Furthermore, there isn’t a requirement to dismiss a staff member if they fail. In fact, we can help you put together a rehabilitation program that allows the employees to remain working. In saying that, if a staff member is not willing to help him/herself and refuses to become clean, is he/she the right person you want working for you and putting everyone around him/her at risk?
What sort of testing do you recommend?
Pre-employment Testing – If they have drugs and alcohol in their system before they start work, there’s a good chance they will continue to use after you hire them. Don’t take the risk.
Random Testing – This is where you test around 10% of your staff per month. It is designed to ensure your staff remain drug and alcohol free whilst at work. If you wait for an accident or until the staff are showing symptoms of intoxication, it may be too late. The way the testing is structures, all staff should be tested at least once a year.
Reasonable Cause – If any member of your staff are displaying weird or dangerous behaviour, you can request a drug test to rule out that to be the cause of the behaviour.
Post incident testing – If an accident happens, it will normally be mandatory for drug and alcohol tests to be conducted on the parties. You’ll find Work Safe will require one to rule out Drugs and or Alcohol to be the cause of the accident.
How can we start drug testing at our company?
Simply give us a call on 0800 838 228 and we’ll develop a Drug And Alcohol policy that is personalised to your company, do all the consultation with your staff on your behalf and then you’re good to go.
The New Zealand workplace is increasingly under threat from a significant level of people actively participating in drug taking activities outside the workplace.
With these increasing levels it creates a potentially higher level of risk in the day to day activities in the workplace. This risk can be directly to the person themselves and to the people who work around them.
Every person has some level of responsibility in the workplace, with some people having to make regular key decisions for the business, while others are daily using equipment and machinery to complete their work.
Both these scenarios are equally important and have risk factors for any company. Add in the potential performance reducing and side effects that drugs have on people and the workplace risk just rises significantly.
Workplace Drug Testing NZ
It is now becoming even more of a necessity for NZ businesses to be drug testing. Having a drug and alcohol policy backed with regular drug testing, can significantly reduce the percentage of workplace risk. This means less onsite risk to staff, better business productivity and ultimately better business.
As in many areas of business, it is best to gain the expertise of specialists who can provide a professional service in this important area.
With consultants in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch, The Drug Testing Company, also known as The DTC, has professional and qualified staff that can help in maintaining a safer drug free workplace.