Drugs and Alcohol Policy


The organisation forbids the consumption of alcohol and use or storage of drugs on its premises nor will it permit any employee to work whilst under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Any such instances will be dealt with under the disciplinary procedure and may lead to the employee’s summary dismissal.

This policy, which applies to all employees, aims to:

  • promote the health and wellbeing of employees and to minimise problems at work arising from the effects of alcohol or drugs
  • identify employees with possible problems relating to the effects of alcohol or drugs at an early stage
  • offer employees known to have alcohol or drug-related problems affecting their work referral to an appropriate source for diagnosis and treatment if necessary.

The policy does not apply to an employee who commits a clear breach of company rules due to inappropriate use of alcohol on one or more occasions. In these cases, action will be taken under the disciplinary procedure as appropriate.

The person responsible for implementing this policy is [name of senior manager].

Arrangements for Securing the Health and Safety of Workers

The organisation will, in consultation with workers and their representatives:

  • recognise that alcohol- and drug-related problems are primarily health and social concerns and that staff with such problems require help and treatment
  • advise all existing employees and all persons starting work of the risks to health arising from the effects of alcohol or drugs (including some legitimately prescribed and over-the-counter medications)
  • encourage employees who may have alcohol or drug-related problems which affect their work to take advantage of the organisation’s referral procedure for diagnosis and treatment
  • enable supervisors and managers to identify job performance problems that may be attributable to the effects of alcohol or drugs and to consult with the organisation’s medical specialist to determine whether there is sufficient concern to warrant a medical evaluation
  • in cases where the effects on work of misuse of alcohol or drugs is confirmed or admitted, agree upon a programme of treatment in consultation with the organisation’s medical advisor and the employee
  • instruct the organisation’s medical advisor to co-ordinate, monitor and if necessary participate in the treatment, which may involve recourse to, or liaison with, the individual’s GP, occupational health physician, counsellor, hospital outpatient department or in-patient care.

The organisation will establish policy rules relating to an employee who is found to have misused alcohol or drugs or admits to the same. The policy rules may cover:

  • the steps to take for managers or supervisors who feel an employee’s unsatisfactory performance may be drug or alcohol-related
  • what help or treatment is available, and what role the employee assistance programme plays
  • disciplinary action for refusal to accept help or at what stage disciplinary procedures are activated
  • conditions for accepting treatment
  • future employment if treatment proves to be successful
  • medical confidentiality
  • effects on pensions, benefits and employment rights.

Information and Training

The organisation will provide sufficient information, instruction and training as is necessary to ensure that all managers know the possible signs of a drug/alcohol problem, such as:

  • increased absenteeism, manifested as increased unauthorised leave, frequent Friday/Monday absences, leaving work early or coming in late, unusually high levels of colds/stomach upsets, etc
  • increased accidents, at work or at home
  • decreased work performance, such as concentration difficulties, taking longer to do tasks, problems remembering instructions or mood swings.

The organisation will also ensure that all employees have the knowledge required to understand:

  • the dangers associated with the effects of alcohol or drugs at work and the company policy regarding this
  • the procedures that will be adopted where there is found to be a deterioration in work performance from these effects
  • the legal consequences of their actions.

Managers and supervisors will be given additional training, as necessary, to enable them to deal with any physiological problems that may arise as a result of the effects of alcohol or drugs upon work performance.

The effects of alcohol or drugs at work can create serious health and safety risks. Therefore, the following rules should be adhered to.

  • Do not come to work under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
  • Do not bring alcohol or non-prescribed drugs on to company premises.
  • Check with your doctor or pharmacist about the side-effects of prescribed medications.
  • Never drive or operate machinery if you are affected by alcohol or drugs.
  • Ask your GP or the organisation for guidance and advice on sensible limits of alcohol consumption.
  • Offer support and advice to colleagues whom you suspect of suffering from alcohol or drug misuse and report any incidents of drug or alcohol misuse to line management.
  • Ask for assistance if you feel that matters are beyond your own control.