With the cost of replacing a member of staff in the region of £30,000, many employers see that ensuring employee wellbeing is a worthwhile area in which to invest. This helps to enhance employee retention and create a resilient workforce.
A drug and alcohol policy that has a supportive approach to drug and alcohol issues is one of the tools an employer can use to enhance employee wellbeing. A drug and alcohol policy is far more than just a document that sets out what drug testing will happen. It sets the company culture and attitude to the risks associated with drug and alcohol use. The policy should contain a commitment to provide drug and alcohol awareness to all employees, helping them to understand the impact that drug use can have on them and their families as well as the risks it brings to their workplace and colleagues.
The policy should also encourage employees who have a drug and alcohol misuse problem to come forward and declare it. The support that will then be provided for those individuals will be outlined in the policy.
Many organisations’ approach to a positive drug test is to dismiss the individual, unless there are strong mitigating factors. This approach would then result in the need to replace that individual and incur the cost of that replacement process. A more supportive and cost effective approach may be to look for ways to rehabilitate that individual, so that the skills they bring to the organisation are not lost. This approach will have to include consequences of any relapse, but it is often not even considered by many employers.