How to Implement Drug Screening in the Workplace

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Studies show that 75% of drug users are employed in full or part-time work, so it’s not unlikely you may have an employee with substance abuse problems. As the importance of having a drug-free workplace is significant for the health & safety of other employees, having regular drug screening is an effective method of ensuring a safe working environment.

It’s clear that drug screening can be highly beneficial, but you may have concerns about implementing the system. It’s not easy asking someone to urinate in a cup. Some employees may feel insulted, embarrassed, or even violated.

If you’re concerned about how to go about implementing drug screening, we have some advice to help you.

Establish Your Attitude Towards Drugs

Firstly, it’s important to establish what sort of attitude you have regarding illegal use of drugs by employees. A zero-tolerance stance will ensure employees know the rules, and the consequences of breaking them, while a more relaxed approach will enable employees to know where they stand with regards to use outside of working hours.

Customize Your Policy

You need to determine what your policy will include in order to have a clear, effective system in place. Here, decisions need to be made. When and where will you do testing? How often? What are the consequences for negative results? Do you want to offer an assistance program for those who fail the tests? Be as thorough and concise as possible to avoid further raised questions or confusion.

Drug Testing Policy Handbook

Next, you need to get everything written up and checked over by a legal specialist. The employee handbook will need to be updated, and it will need including in job applications too.

Inform Your Staff

The most important part is to be clear with your employees. They will likely have questions which you will need patience and time to answer. Explain why you are implementing it and highlight the health and safety aspects.

Remember – having a policy will not harm a business, but not having one could cost thousands of pounds in lost productivity and absenteeism, so don’t feel guilty for protecting the business and other employees.

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