Alcohol and drugs misuse policy

Policy overview

We have a legal duty to maintain a healthy and safe working environment.

We are committed to assisting and supporting employees who may be experiencing problems with substance misuse.

Alcohol and drug abuse is not just an individual problem. It is also a social problem with social causes and implications, some of which may be related to work.

Such problems may be the result of work or external pressures.


We expect employees to report for work fit and to remain fit to perform their duties.

We will:

  • act reasonably and sympathetically
  • regard the dependency as a treatable illness or disorder
  • take an objective and non-judgemental approach
  • encourage employees to seek voluntary advice and assistance
  • intervene where misuse affects work performance or the safe and efficient conduct of duties

We will ensure that all practicable measures are introduced to prevent substance misuse in the workplace. We will:

  • offer advice, identify and, where possible, arrange assistance.  This may be either internally or from a specialised agency. It may include treatment or counselling services.
  • refer employees for assistance when appropriate
  • support employees who are receiving treatment
  • be alert to possible abuse problems.  We will monitor changes in work performance, attendance, sickness and accident patterns
  • provide information to enable employees to:
    • recognise a problem, and
    • seek help to overcome it
  • ensure employees understand the policy and their responsibilities
  • promote and maintain safe systems of work
  • give reasonable paid time off for treatment, provided the employee fully co-operates. Employees must provide proof of appointments to their manager
  • talk to an employee when work performance is being affected.  The employee may be accompanied by a:
    • work colleague
    • trade union representative
    • official employed by a trade union

Employees will:

  • be aware of their responsibilities under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974
  • be aware and familiar with the relevant policies and procedures
  • be aware of the health and safety implications of being under the influence of alcohol, drugs or other substances.  This includes the dangers they pose to themselves, colleagues, service users and members of the public
  • urge and encourage colleagues to seek help if they have problems from substance misuse.  Employees must not cover up for or collude with colleagues
  • use alcohol responsibly and not use illegal drugs