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What’s your policy on drugs and alcohol

What’s your businesses’ policy on drugs and alcohol? Do you even have a policy?

As the Alcohol and Drug Foundation (ADF) bluntly put it, if your business does not have a clear drug and alcohol policy that is promoted to your employees, you are an at risk business.

No drug and alcohol policy = at risk business

The ADF uses the real example of a truck driver who arrived at work reeking of alcohol and showing other signs of being affected by alcohol. The truck driver’s employment was terminated but he later won an unfair dismissal case with Fair Work Australia.

How, you might ask, could a person who appeared drunk (and a truck driver to boot) win such a case?

Simply because his employer didn’t have a zero tolerance drug and alcohol policy in place, did not tell employees that drinking alcohol could result in termination and didn’t perform an alcohol test on the employee.

We know that research indicates that the cost to Australian businesses each year due to alcohol and drug use is around $6 billion, so what can you do to go from an at risk business to a protected business?

Develop a drug and alcohol policy for your business

By developing a drug and alcohol policy for your business you can help reduce the risk of drugs and alcohol in your workplace. However, you need to go further. It’s not enough just to develop a policy. You need to promote the policy to your employees and educate them on the dangers that drugs and alcohol pose.

As the ADF states: “It’s far more cost-effective to invest in developing a comprehensive policy and educating your workers than having to manage an investigation, terminating an employee, then recruiting and re-training someone new.

In the case above, if the truck driver’s employer had a drug and alcohol policy in place, had informed the truck driver about the policy and followed the policy (any robust drug and alcohol policy should include the need for workplace drug and alcohol testing) they would have been within their rights to terminate the employment.

Get help to develop your drug and alcohol policy

While Integrity Sampling’s main service is providing drug and alcohol testing for workplaces, we also help businesses to develop a robust and clear drug and alcohol policy. See our website for further information and call us on 1300 SALIVA to discuss your needs.

A robust and clear drug and alcohol policy can help reduce the impact of drugs and alcohol in your workplace.

A robust and clear drug and alcohol policy can help reduce the impact of drugs and alcohol in your workplace. Credit Moreno Ted (

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View posts by Michael
Michael is the founder of Integrity Sampling and is responsible for overseeing all national operations. He is based at Integrity Sampling's head office in Thomastown and is also responsible for the co-ordination of drug and alcohol testing within Victoria, assisting in the implementation of drug and alcohol (fit for work) policies and the presentation of drug and alcohol education and awareness programs.You can connect with Michael Wheeldon on LinkedIn

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