Decriminalisation of Dagga
Recently the Constitutional Court decriminalised the personal and private use of cannabis aka dagga by adults and Employers seems to be in a frenzy about the use of dagga in the workplace.
As an employer you probably have many questions, some of these questions may well be: How do I deal with an employee who is under the influence of dagga, or, what do I do when one of my employees appears to be under the influence of dagga? or, may an employee use dagga whilst on duty? Does it mean because the Constitutional Court decriminalised the personal use of dagga that it is now accepted in a workplace?
When considering the above questions, the first point that needs to be dealt with is that personal and private use has been decriminalised. Does this mean an employee may now during working hours or at the company’s premises make use of dagga, the answer is NO. When dealing with narcotics in general (including dagga) the dangers must be considered. When considering a factory environment, the risk is even more. What about when operating moving machinery? We are of the view that the use of the substance has been decriminalised, not legalised and the Constitutional Court has given Parliament two (2) years to ensure that the necessary legislation is in place. Public use has not been decriminalised or legalised for that matter.
What is the requirements placed on the Employer?
In simple terms, the use of dagga and any other substance must be treated as is with the use of alcohol. This means that if an employee has a dependency problem this must a) be reported to the employer and b) the employer may have to provide assistance, like in a case of an alcoholic. The employer should include the use of substances and or specifically dagga in their policies and ensure that all employees are well aware of such policies. In the event of employers not having such policy in place, the suggestion is to create a substance abuse policy and to ensure this is brought to the attention of all employees. This policy will then deal not only with the private and personal use of dagga but also with the use of substances in general in the workplace and also reporting for duty under the influence. All employees, after being made aware of the policy will then also be advised of the formal disciplinary measures if and when such a policy is breached.
Do you have such a policy? If not contact one of our experienced consultants to either draft such a policy or to review your current and existing policies to ensure that you are covered.
Kusile Consulting Services
Tel: 011 609 2630
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