Tuesday 24 October 2017

'One of my staff is using drugs and their work is now failing - what can I do?'

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Feargal Quinn

Question: One of my staff is using recreational drugs. Initially it wasn't evident in their work, but more recently their work has been falling. What are my rights as an employer in this situation?

Answer: Your rights are a legal issue and I will leave that to others to advise you on what you can and can't do within the rules of the law. As an employer, I can advise you to look at other possible solutions, assuming that this person was once a good employee, who might now be in a difficult position.

There are now many third-party companies who provide supports for employees in difficulty; for example, counselling services, doctors, etc. It might be worth your while to sit down with one of these companies and see what supports they could provide your employee in this situation and if you're able to fund a number of sessions for them, then it would be a good thing to do.

Employees are human and sometimes people go in the wrong direction. I realise that it will be awkward for you to raise this conversation but if it has become as evident as you say, then I think it will be no shock to the employee that you are having this conversation with them. At the very least, be seen to offer support before you have to take some other, more formal route.

Send your small business questions to himself@feargalquinn.ie

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