Today's Labour News

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concourtThe Star writes that workplace substance abuse policies are set for a major shakeup following the Constitutional Court’s (ConCourt’s) landmark ruling decriminalising use of dagga in private spaces.  

Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo on Tuesday delivered a judgment that declared unconstitutional the laws that allowed police to arrest adults found in possession of dagga in their homes or luggage.  The ruling also barred police from arresting adults for possession of dagga in public spaces and vehicles, so long as they could prove they were not going to sell it.  But the judgment threw employers a curveball, said Rudy Maritz, a safety, health, environment and quality (SHEQ) legal advisor.  He observed:  “Employers may now face some challenges from cannabis-consuming employees and it’s imperative that the correct message is conveyed from the outset.  What do you do when an employee comes to work with cannabis in his or her pocket or handbag?  It is in private.  It is thus not illegal.  In my opinion, employers need to re-evaluate their alcohol and drug abuse policies.  From there, an assessment can be made as to the extent of controls needed.”  The health department, which was one of four departments hoping that the court would maintain the outright ban, argued before the Bench that dagga was a serious health hazard.  The court gave Parliament 24 months to repeal laws that empowered police to arrest adults using dagga privately.

  • Read this report by Bongani Nkosi in full at The Star

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