Ask Sheila - Archive England

Sheila Scott OBE has now retired and therefore is no longer available to answer your social care questions. However, you might still find the answer you’ve been searching for down below.

29th June 2017

Carer under the influence of drugs?

If l suspect that a carer is working under the influence of drugs, e.g. Marijuana, what can l do?


Dear Paula,


Thank you for your question.


I asked our HR expert Chris King a solicitor with Napthens for his opinion and this is what he said:


“If a carer is under the influence at work this can be dealt with under your disciplinary policy. It is potentially a gross misconduct offence especially given the health and safety concerns and the level of responsibility of the employee.


If the employee has at least two years’ service it is important that you follow a full and fair disciplinary process. This will initially involve an investigation, the disciplinary hearing and then an appeal hearing if the employee chooses to appeal the decision.


It is important that separate individuals of the appropriate seniority carry out each of these. The investigation may be formed by way of witness statements which confirm the behaviour of the individual which leads to the suspicion of drug use i.e. are they slurring their words, has anyone seen them actually taking drugs as well as requesting that the individual takes a drug test.


This may be something you have in your handbook or contracts of employment.”


I hope that this is helpful.


Best wishes.




*All information is correct at the time of publishing.

About Sheila

Sheila Scott OBE has now retired and over the years , prior to her retirement she has answered thousands of your social questions. You can still access the many questions below.

For Sheila Scott OBE as the former CEO of National Care Association (NCA), care is Sheila's life. She possesses a strong command of the issues facing the care sector informed by her long career as a nursing professional, the owner and manager of a care business, and as a leader in the care sector.

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