The global labour shortage sparked by Covid-19 is fuelling a more liberal approach to workplace drug testing, according to two new employment studies.

The Daily Mail reports recruitment company ManpowerGroup’s latest survey found 9% of more than 45,000 employers in 43 countries were willing to ignore recreational drug use if it meant filling vacant positions.

Many employers are willing to ignore cannabis use in a bid to fill vacancies

And US firm the Current Consulting Group’s annual employer drug-testing survey found that, of the businesses eliminating drug-testing policies in 2021, 36% did so because high numbers of positive tests for cannabis meant they could not fill positions.

Around 42% were also worried about potential lawsuits and their legal liability in US states where recreational use has been decriminalised.

Meanwhile, Vice reports the problem has reached Australian shores, with employers in WA claiming the state’s mandatory drug-testing policies, introduced in 2020, are making recruitment difficult.

Butchery company owner Steve McKenny told the ABC: “’We’ve tried many different media outlets, different sorts of ads, different angles, word of mouth – not even a phone call.

“If we put a sign up we would easily get 40 or 50 applicants. But if the sign says ‘must submit to drug testing’ it’s down to four or five.”

The news comes after Amazon recently urged its US delivery partners to stop screening would-be drivers for cannabis use in a bid to attract more applicants.

Prior to launching Cannabiz, Martin was co-founder and CEO of Asia-Pac’s leading B2B media and marketing information brand Mumbrella, overseeing its sale to Diversified Communications in 2017. A journalist...

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