So-called legal highs are often in the news these days, but as indicated by these recent statistics employers would be wise to consider whether their existing policies are fit for purpose.

Alcohol and drug policies do not have to be limited to 'illegal' usage. Indeed it is common to outline that drinking alcohol during the working day is prohibited even if it is not unlawful. In many cases it is likely employers will want to adopt a similar stance on legal highs but making this clear to staff in the policy sets boundaries and minimises the risks of ignorance being pleaded.

When it comes to testing employees or dealing with a member of staff who has disclosed a problem with usage things become less clear and caution should be taken. However, training for managers, education and clarity on company policy should the need arise will help.

As ever, it is better to shut the stable door before the horse has bolted.