As Drug Testing Kits UK has recently seen with so many companies across the length and breath of Britain and Southern Ireland, making enquiries: "some employers have now adopted screening as part of their drug and alcohol policy" [1]. If you are considering taking the same wise approach to doing all that you can to: achieve optimum health and safety in the workplace; minimal risk of accidents; high levels of efficiency and work output from your staff; and negating disharmony, and the risk of serious accidents in the workplace, then you should consider various factors which are tied in with conducting on-site alcohol and illegal drug testing.

The latter should only be conducted using superior quality, rapid results, CE-approved drug tests, such as those provided to countless companies, organisations, institutions, and educational and medical establishments by Bristol- based, Drug Testing Kits UK. The non-invasive saliva and urine tests utilise the latest cutting-edge technology, and very importantly, they can be easily administered by a responsible, dedicated member of staff. The factors which you need to be mindful of, include:

  • Ensuring that staff consent to alcohol and drug screening (including both illegal, and frequently abused prescription drugs), for practical and legal reasons

  • Being aware of the fact that: "screening by itself will not solve problems caused by drug and alcohol misuse, and where introduced, should be part of your company's/organisation's overall health and safety policy" [1]

  • Understanding that screening should be conducted in a professional and hygienic manner in order to make sure that saliva or urine samples cannot be contaminated or tampered with; and that the testing procedures and recording of results are accurate

  • Being aware that unless it is in their work contract, or other legal agreement, staff cannot be made to take an alcohol or drug test. However, "if they refuse when an employer has good grounds for testing, they may face disciplinary action" [1]

Ensuring You Have A First-Class Drug & Alcohol Misuse Policy in Place

"Employers must ensure they have a clear policy on substance misuse, and we recommend that drug and alcohol misuse forms part of their overall well-being offering, to ensure any need for disciplinary action is coupled with a preventative and supportive approach to help employees get the help they need" [2]

Our Drug Testing Kits UK's Health Science Advisor, endorses the following up-to-date guidance, given by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development 2024:

Having a clear policy in place in order to prioritise genuine support for staff and their mental and physical well-being. This policy should "set expectations about what is acceptable, as well as detail on who an employee can go to if they have a problem and signpost to where they can get help" [2]

Focusing on prevention. Your company/organisation, etc., should regularly assess the stress levels, workloads, and working conditions of your employees. Moreover, as an employer, when you compile the staff well-being program and its associated offerings, you need to take into account potential alcohol and drug misuse [2]

Be sure to train your managers so that "they feel capable and confident to manage and support employees. Providing on-demand resources with a key point of contact in HR, can be helpful, to ensure both the employee and manager feel supported" [2]

Generate an atmosphere where staff are familiar about the support available, and feel confident enough to request it [2]

Steer clear of revving up a drinking culture. "Consider the implications for well-being and inclusion when planning work events. Plans should strike the appropriate balance between rewarding employees for good work and improving morale, with a genuine commitment to employee well-being" [2]

Support staff rehabilitation. Allow a reasonable amount of time off for an employee to receive any necessary treatment or support relating to alcohol or substance misuse. (Proof of their offer should be provided, along with a commitment by the organisation helping the employee, that they will: send you (the employer), a report stating that the employee has attended the necessary sessions and appointments) [2]

Being Conversant With UK Law

"You have a general duty under the Health and Safety at Work etc., Act, to ensure, so far as reasonably practicable, the health, safety and welfare of your employees. Employees must also take reasonable care of themselves and anyone who could be affected by their work. There is up-to-date information on laws, such as the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 and The Road Traffic Act 1988, which apply to drug and alcohol misuse. And Frank has a wealth of useful information on the law" [3].

Understanding Drug Testing and Employee Monitoring

As you can probably imagine, as an employer, there are restrictions as to what you can do to check up on staff with regard to their being under the influence of illegal drugs or alcohol, either in the workplace, or outside the workplace on company business.

Email and CCTV Monitoring

These days, staff should accept some degree of monitoring in the workplace by their employer, due to the fact that it is essential for necessary for the latter to carry out their health and safety duties. "However, where monitoring involves taking data or images – like email and CCTV – this must be done in a way that’s lawful and fair to the members of staff concerned.

The amount of monitoring should be clearly set out by you, the employer, in the staff contract or company handbook, for example. If an employee is under surveillance, this should be made clear to them. Moreover, they should also be told what is a reasonable number of personal emails and phone calls they can make in any given period, or be told if they are not allowed at all" [4]. In some cases, this surveillance, shows that the employee has been discussing illegal drugs and the purchase of the same; and if this is the case, the employer will have a stronger case against them.

Contact Drug Testing Kits UK's Winning CX Team!

If you would like any further information on the broad range of state-of-the-art, non-invasive, CE approved drug and alcohol tests, which we sell to thousands of companies of all sizes, at highly economic bulk prices; or if you just want more guidance on the best types of drug and alcohol tests for your needs, do not hesitate to contact us!

References [1]. Health & Safety Executive (2023). "Screening  and testing for drugs and alcohol."

[2]. CIPD (2024). "Managing drug and alcohol misuse at work."

[3]. Health & Safety Executive (2023). "The law."

[4]. NI Direct (2023). policy should be set,tests should be genuinely random.