Business group advises employers on drugs and the workplace

The Employers and Manufacturers Association (EMA) urges business leaders to ensure they are on solid ground on the issue of drug abuse in the workplace, by having policies and procedures firmly in place and embedded in company cultures.

Earlier this week the Prime Minister said several businesses a week complained to him about their problems getting Kiwi workers to pass a drugs test. He went on to say that one of the hurdles these days is just passing a drugs test, especially our young people.

Various groups have disputed the Prime Minister’s claim.

However, EMA’s chief exeuctive, Kim Campbell, says, “The Prime Minister’s right – it is an issue and we hear anecdotal evidence to this effect from our members regularly – especially in relation to drugs and existing employees.

“It’s all very well quoting government statistics which seem to minimise the issue, but as a business leader representing more than 4000 companies from Taupo northwards, I can tell you those figures are just plain wrong. My advice to Government departments is to get better data, and we are prepared to help with that task.”

The EMA also encourages all its members to put in place a clearly-understood drugs and alcohol policy, and embed it in their contracts with workers.

“The risks are a fact of life of operating a business in New Zealand in 2017 and we encourage all our members to take this step in the interests of mitigating what can be very serious health and safety risks in the workplace.”

The EMA also advises members that if they conclude that health and safety risks are elevated with respect to drugs and alcohol in their workplaces, they should move to the next level and consider the range of options such as random testing in the workplace and testing at the prospective employee stage, ie, before an employment contract is offered.

Help is available for the creation of appropriate drug and alcohol policies as well as access to drug testing regimes, through membership of the EMA.

Portrait of young woman in protective glasses in the factory

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