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When you read posts like this on social media, I believe a reasonable person’s heart jumps a little. Please no you think, not in a Nursery environment!

From a HR perspective we are used to absenteeism, lateness, poor attitude and even those who deliberately avoid work. Yet I’ve never got used to the fact that some people take illegal drugs in their free time; and it’s increasingly a problem for UK employers.

The Facts

After alcohol and tobacco, cannabis is the most commonly used drug in the UK.

Less than one in eight adults (aged 16-59) and less than one in five young people (aged 16-24) say they have used cannabis in the last year. (Source: talktofrank.com).

The Signs

Signs your employee’s may use drugs include:

• Unexplained change in personality or attitude.
• Sudden mood swings, irritability, or angry outbursts.
• Periods of unusual hyperactivity, agitation, or giddiness.
• Lack of motivation; appears lethargic or “spaced out.”
• Appears fearful, anxious, or paranoid, with no reason.

According to the experts its the people of working age that are taking cannabis in their free time.

If someone makes a disclosure to you

So what would we do if a practitioner disclosed during their supervision that they were smoking cannabis outside of work.

We would advise that this is a safeguarding issue.

There would be serious concerns about their suitability to work in childcare. We would advise suspending the practitioner and notifying Ofsted and the LADO about the disclosure. Their suitability to work with children needs to be established.

Get help

If someone is taking cannabis then they can get help by reading information from NHS Choices.