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Illegal drugs most popular in UK finance sector

Staff writer |
Over a third (35%) of employees know or suspect that their colleagues have a drug problem or take illegal substances either during or outside work Crossland Employment Solicitors survey shows.

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Over 60 percent complained that mood swings, missed deadlines and calling-in sick are just some of the ways it’s affecting team performance.

Crossland commissioned a survey of 500 employers and 500 employees which also found that 20 percent of employees confirmed that they take, inject, or smoked illegal substances during the weekend and holidays.

12.5 percent said they take illegal substances every week, and over 45 percent agreed with their colleagues that it affects their performance in a negative way, such as making them feel down or depressed, tired at work or causes their change in mood, others said they “felt sick” , “generally unwell” while another claimed “increased productivity.”

23 percent admitted they had done something illegal to fund their drug use either in or outside of work, with 12 percent saying this involved work stock or cash.

46 percent of employees also confirmed that they were aware of the potential disciplinary action that could be taken against them for substance abuse and result in them losing their job, but another 35 percent were unsure of the exact grounds and consequences of any action – showing a wide gap in levels of knowledge among employees.

The survey also found a wide range of approaches in how employers respond to substance abuse at work.

41 percent of employers said they have an official drug awareness guide detailing company policy and potential disciplinary action, nearly a quarter (23%) said they undertake random drug and alcohol testing on employees.

21 percent said they have a programme of training for managers or supervisors on recognising the signs of drug misuse, 14 percent said they allow people time off to get help or encourage them to seek help, while 11 percent said they just sack them.

Across different industry sectors, accountancy, banking and finance was highest with 23 percent of employees suspected or known to take illegal substances during or outside of work.

22 percent in engineering and manufacturing and 16 percent in business consulting and management.

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