Intoxicants and Referral
The abuse of intoxicants is one the most common employment termination grounds in Finland. The employer should intervene with the intoxication of the employee in time, if the employer plans on using it as a ground for termination. It is difficult for the employer to refer to the use of intoxicants later on, if he/she has not intervened while he/she has known about it. The employer must gather reliable evidence of the intoxicant abuse through e.g. keeping a record of the times the employee has been intoxicated at work.
An employee with intoxicant problems should be referred to appropriate care, even if referral is not a formal condition to terminating the employment relationship. The referral procedure should be the same and equal for all employees. It should be executed in cooperation with the occupational health care and e.g. usage of additional service of such as A-clinics.
If an employee is intoxicated at work or neglects his/her duties, the employer may be entitled to terminate the employee’s employment agreement. The severity of the substance abuse is evaluated by taking into account the repetitiveness of the abuse, the employee's status, the nature of his/her work, the specific characteristics of the employer's industry, the working conditions and the effects of the abuse for employers, employees and the working community. Typically, the employee should be given a warning before his/her employment relationship can be terminated on the basis of intoxication.
Serious substance abuse can also constitute a ground for cancellation. If the employee's duties require special accuracy or responsibility, the employer may have grounds to cancel the substance-abusing employee's employment relationship. E.g. the employment relationship of an employee who works with children and suffers from drug problems may be cancelled with immediate effect.