What can you do?
You can't just dismiss
an employee because of absence based on alcohol or drug abuse.
The reasons for this are because:
· Some employees, and not all, who abuse alcohol and drugs are alcoholics and drug addicts;
· Drug addiction and alcoholism are considered illnesses in South Africa;
· Sick people are protected by law; and
· The courts aren't happy when discipline is used to deal with illnesses.
50 Legally approved HR Policies and Procedures your company can't do without
The HR Policies and Procedures: 50 HR Policies and Procedures is a tool that gives you
50 must-have HR company policies and procedures so you can put an end to needless disputes and questions regarding HR issues like:
• Employee incapacity;
• Substance abuse in the workplace;
• Conflict of interest;
• Religious leave; and
• And 45 other common HR headaches.
to access all the essential HR policies and procedures you need to keep your company free from liability.
What you'll need to do is establish if the absent employee is addicted or abusing the substance. This can be done with the assistance of addiction specialists, such as those from the SA Council on Alcoholism and Drug Addiction (SANCA).
If he's an addict, then treatment should form the foundation of your strategy. If he's not, then a formal disciplinary procedure might be in order.
It's very important for you to realise that forcing an employee to go for a drug or alcohol test isn't allowed. But if he voluntarily has one done, then you can use the results as evidence. Also, physical appearance and behaviour could be other signs of alcoholism and drug abuse. SANCA can help you and your managers identify any possible sings of alcoholism and drug addiction among your employees.
At the end of the day, this matter is complicated. So draw up a legally-sound policy which specifically deals with drug and alcohol addiction. Clearly describe it to your employees and emphasise that alcohol and drug addiction isn't necessarily an excuse for absenteeism.
*To learn more on absenteeism
, subscribe to Labour Law for Managers.
Is it hard to summarise all the information in the Labour laws and keep up with other regulations?
The Basic Conditions of Employment Act
, the Labour Relations Act
, and dozens of changes and resolutions of Government provisions and the Department of Labour often contradict each other.
But the Labour Law for Managers Loose Leaf Service
provides quick access to comprehensive and professional information about labour legislation.
Get the Labour Law for Managers Loose Leaf Service today
- and we'll keep you updated with the latest changes happening in the labour legislation