Drug testing should be the last resort

It’s a little patronising for the inquiry into drug testing at work to
predict doom and gloom because they fear employers are getting over zealous
with random monitoring.

No employer will entertain such intrusions into their workforce unless they
genuinely believe they have a problem in a safety critical environment. The
risks to morale, trust and motivation, as well as the costs, are well
understood.

Employers recognise that forcing staff to give urine samples sits
uncomfortably with the shift away from command and control cultures, and can be
perceived by talented young recruits as too authoritarian. Drug testing will
always be a last resort.

Retailers and city firms have been forced into proactive policies because
drugs and alcohol are blight on business, particularly in terms of absenteeism
and poor performance. For many others, the solution is about educating the
workforce about the dangers of misuse and introducing systems to identify
problems and tackle them early.

There are some excellent examples of HR working with occupational health
teams on preventative practice. An explosion of drug testing, as forecast by
Drugscope and Joseph Rowntree Foundation, sounds a bit alarmist to me.

10 steps to instant fame

Ever fancied yourself as an HR guru? Personnel Today prides itself on
helping readers get on and get ahead in their careers, so this week we have a
tongue-in-cheek attempt at providing essential advice that will really get you
noticed.

Every profession needs its cheerleaders and HR could do with a few more,
preferably people who are practitioners and strategists as opposed to the same
old management thinkers.

Like it or not, inventing business catchphrases or clever themes for books
are essential prerequisites to making a name for yourself. So take look at
pages 21-24 to see if you have the vision and ideas to make it big.

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