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"Can he be dismissed for smoking dagga"

We are armature winders and work with heavy motors, fans, etc we receive from the mines. We use overhead cranes, grinder, welding machines, etc.
We caught a worker smoking dagga on the premises. He admitted all the requirements regarding smoking of dagga and also admitted that he is addicted and cannot stop the smoking. He received a final warning.
I am concerned about this young man. He is at present assembling these motors –
i. He is a health and safety risk. If he is under the influence of drugs(dagga) he can hurt himself and/or his colleagues. I did discuss this with his family and offered to try and get authority from Management to assist him with treatment. They refused and said they will try to get him off the smoking of dagga.
ii. He is also a big financial risk to his employer as the quality of his work could be affected.
My questions –
i. If he is again caught smoking dagga, alternatively hurts himself and / or other workers, can he be dismissed after holding a disciplinary enquiry without having been assisted to try and get him off the use of drugs.
ii. If he is under the influence of drugs(dagga) and the quality of his work is affected, what are your suggestions regarding the steps to be followed.
iii. Can you suggest any preventative actions that can be taken.
iv. In his application for employment the following question appears – Particulars of any disease or constant illness. Obviously, this does not cover drugs like dagga. Can we add the following extra question – are you in any way dependent on any habit forming drugs and/or medication.

Added to
  • Dismissals
  • Dagga
  • Drugs
  • Dismiss for using drugs

 User  Martin asked at 08 Feb. 2013


1 answer

 User RachelP answered to question to 08 Feb. 2013
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Given the final warning as well as the potential health risks and the fact that his conduct is illegal, dismissal would in all likelihood be an appropriate sanction if he should again transgress. However, in the meantime you should repeat your offer to try and assist him with his addiction provided he agrees to go for whatever counselling might be available. It will be for his account but you might agree to advance a soft loan to assist him. If he fails to take up this offer, you have done your duty.

If his performance suffers as a result of his dagga use, and assuming he is not caught smoking or being under the influence (this would be misconduct) you can treat it as an incapacity issue.

You may include the provision you suggest in your application forms.

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