The impact of methamphetamine (tik) use on the workplace

Hagen, Gawie (2008-12)

Thesis (MBA)--Stellenbosch University, 2008.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: There has been a dramatic increase in the use of the drug methamphetamine, also known locally as tik, in the Western Cape, specifically in Cape Town. This trend impacts the availability and the quality of labour as well as the productivity of current employees. The presence of tik abuse in the workplace represents both legal and ethical challenges to employers. The Labour Relations Act of 1995 states that employers must ensure a safe working environment for their employees. The actions of tik users tend to increase the risk of injuries at work and the occurrences of workrelated accidents that may harm others. Social responsibility requires employers to operate their business in an honourable manner, to provide good working conditions and to work actively to better the quality of life of the local communities where it operates. This responsibility translates into helping the tik users that they employ. The current relationship between employer and employee regarding tik is marred by conflict and misunderstanding. Employers seem unsure what to do and are unaware of how far-reaching tik abuse is. Tik abuse causes many problems for employees and also for their family and friends. By gathering information in a structured way the study aims to improve the understanding of employers so that they can help and prevent tik-related problems in the future. The study utilized descriptive qualitative research in the form of a questionnaire given to recovering tik users at two treatment centres in Cape Town, SANCA and De Novo. The research ran for about a month and gathered 82 usable questionnaires. Results, along with a literature study, were used to create a framework to guide employers on identifying tik users and on how to deal with them. The framework, the Tik Identification and Intervention Protocol (TIIP), contains criteria to help identify employees that may be using tik. The study showed that many international trends are evident in Cape Town. Approximately 40% of participants indicated that they were absent from work more often than prescribed by labour legislation; 70% of participants experienced that tik affected their ability to perform their duties; 32% of participants admitted that they stole to obtain funding for their drug habit. Some new findings became evident, such as the impact of the family on the participant's decision to go for treatment. The Western Cape's treatment centres are severely hampered by a lack of resources and are incapable at present of dealing with the current flood of patients. While plans are in place to rectify this, it is clear that in the short term at least, employers will have to take up more of the slack. The recovery process for a drug addict takes a long time; experts suggest it may take up to two years. Therefore employers need to be involved and create support programs at work to assist employees in their recovery. Employees can be cured from their dependency on tik, so that they can become healthy and contribute to the community and to their employer.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Daar is 'n dramatiese toename in die voorkoms en gebruik van metaphetamien (plaaslik bekend as tik) in die Wes-Kaap, spesifiek in Kaapstad. Die tendens het 'n impak op die verskaffing en die kwaliteit van beskikbare arbeid, sowel as die produktiwiteit van huidige werknemers. Die voorkoms en gebruik van tik in die werksplek het beide wetlike en etiese uitdagings vir werkgewers. Die Arbeidswet van 1995 verklaar dat die werkgewer daarvoor verantwoordelik is om te verseker dat hul werksplek veilig is vir hul werknemers. Tik gebruikers verhoog die risiko en die voorkoms van werksbeserings en werksongelukke wat ander werknemers ook mag beinvloed. Sosiale verantwoordelikheid vereis van werkgewers om hul besighede op 'n eerbare wyse te bestuur, om goeie werksomstandighede te verseker en 'n aktiewe bedrae te lewer in die plaaslike gemeenskap waar hulle hul ook mag bevind. Die verantwoordelikheid sluit tik gebruikers in. Die huidige verhouding tussen werkgewers en werknemers in verband met die misbruik van tik word gekenmerk deur konflik. Werkgewers blyk onseker te wees ten opsigte van wat hul te doen staan en hoe verreikend die impak van die misbruik van tik mag wees. Die misbruik van tik veroorsaak 'n menigte probleme vir werknemers, sowel as vir hul vriende en families. Hierdie studie poog am deur 'n gestruktureerde wyse informasie te versamel met die doel om die begrip van werkgewers te verbeter, sodat hul tik gebruikers kan help en tik-verwante probleme in die toekoms kan voorkom. Die studie is beskrywend kwalitatief van aard en gebruik 'n vraelys om informasie te versamel by twee behandelingsentrums in Kaapstad, SANCA en De Novo. Die navorsing het vir omtrent 'n maand geduur waarna 82 bruikbare vraelyste ingewin is. Die resultate, sowel as die literatuurstudie wat gedoen is, is gebruik om 'n raamwerk op te stel wat werkgewers kan help om tik gebruikers te identifiseer, sowel as hoe om hulle te ondersteun. Die eerste gedeelte van die raamwerk, die Tik Identifikasie en Ingrypings Protokol (TIIP), bestaan uit kriteria wat gebruik kan word om werknemers te identifiseer wat tik gebruik. Hierdie studie het gewys dat verskeie internasionale tendense sigbaar is in Kaapstad. Ongeveer 40% van die deelnemers het aangewys dat hulle meer as die wetlike hoeveelheid dae afwesig was van die werk, 70% van die deelnemers het erken dat tik hulle vermoe am hul werk behoorlik te kan doen beinvloed het en 32% van die deelnemers het erken dat hulle gesteel het om geld te verkry am tik te koop. Die studie het daarop gedui dat die familie 'n integrale rol gespeel het in die deelnemers se besluit om vir behandeling te gaan. Dit blyk dat die Wes-Kaapse behandelings-hulpbronne ver te kort skiet om die saak te hanteer. Daar is tans planne in plek am die probleem die hoof te bied, maar dit is duidelik dat in die korttermyn, werkgewers 'n groter rol sal moet speel. Die herstelproses is van lange duur, en kenners meen dat dit tot twee jaar mag neem voor tik gebruikers volkome herstel het. Die werkemers het ondersteuning nodig gedurende hierdie moeilike proses. Die studie het bevind dat werknemers herstel en gesond kan word om weer 'n bydrae te kan lewer vir beide die werkgewer en die bree samelewing.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/14622
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