HR professionals call for drug and alcohol testing legislation

Growing
numbers of HR and personnel managers are calling for legislation to allow them
to test employees for drugs and alcohol.

A
survey by law firm DMH revealed that 49 percent of managers believe that new
laws should be introduced to allow them to more effectively combat drink and
drugs problems amongst employees.

Among
construction and manufacturing employers, which face the greatest number of
alcohol-related problems, the figure was closer to 80 percent.

About
10 percent of employers involved in the research are already engaged in
negotiations with staff over testing, which could help to reduce the £2bn lost
to alcohol related absence and £800,000 lost to drugs per year.

However,
such negotiations could prove unnecessary if legislation is passed granting
companies the legal right to test all their employees without needing union
consent. 

DMH
Partner Simon Bell said, “Human resources personnel managers evidently feel
that they are in a difficult position. Clearly employers face a problem and
they want some help from the law.

“We
are facing an increasing number of cases linked to alcohol and drug abuse. The
results of this survey show that this is a real problem for businesses,
particularly in the manufacturing and construction industry.”

By
Robert De La Poer

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