Misuse of Alcohol and Drugs Policy
Our employees are our most valuable resource and their health and safety is of the utmost importance. Drug and alcohol misuse has the potential to damage the health and well-being of our employees and threaten the success of our business. To that end this policy applies not just to employees but also to contractors engaged by the Company, however be aware that the procedures are different for direct and indirect labour.
AimsThe aim of this policy is to protect the health and safety of our employees and to help anyone who may be suffering from a drug or alcohol-related problem. The policy sets out the principles within which our business will usually work followed by guidance for occasions when a problem arises. [However, since no two cases will be the same, this policy should be regarded as laying down guidelines only and not as being of contractual effect.
In addition to the Companies duties to its staff, all employees are personally responsible for their own health and safety and the safety of others who may be affected by their acts and omissions. Consumption of alcohol or drugs may affect an employee's ability to properly perform his or her job and may also endanger the health and safety of others. Employees are therefore required to advise their line manager or HR manager if they are taking prescribed drugs.
Directly employed Staff
The Company reserves the right to conduct or require a drug or alcohol screen on any directly employed individual whilst at work or on organisation property. Such screening will only be carried out with the employee's consent. However, refusal to provide appropriate samples may lead the Company to draw its own inferences against the employee.
Where appropriate, the company will provide support internally and/or through external agencies to employees who seek help for a drug or alcohol problem.
The Company reserves the right to conduct drug and alcohol screening as part of the process for pre-employment selection. Any candidate who has a positive screen, or who refuses to provide the appropriate samples, will not be eligible for employment.
The use, possession, distribution, purchase, sale or being under the influence of alcohol (except on authorised occasions) or any controlled drugs whilst at work or on Company property is prohibited and may be viewed as gross misconduct.
Breach of this policy by an employee will be fully investigated and normally be dealt with under the organisation's disciplinary procedure. Depending on the nature of the conduct, the employee may be dismissed without notice.
Sub-contractorsAny individual working for the Company as a sub-contractor who is suspected by the site management team as being under the influence of drugs or alcohol and therefore create a hazard to themselves and those working around them will be instructed by the site manager to cease work immediately and leave site Their supervisor on site will be notified and also a note sent to their head office explaining the reason why the individual was stopped from working. The individual will not be allowed to return to any of the Companys construction sites until a letter has been received by his/her line Manager explaining what measures have been put into place to ensure that the situation does not arise again. The Company reserves the right to still refuse permission to return to one of the Companys sites if they are not convinced that the situation has been resolved adequately.
Procedures - Directly employed Staff and Labour
Prevention and rehabilitation
The primary objectives of this policy are the prevention of the adverse affects of drugs and alcohol in the workplace and the early diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation of employees who have alcohol or drug-related problems.
The Company will ensure that there are confidential means whereby employees can seek assistance and advice for any alcohol problem, whether by self-referral or at the request of the organisation.
Employees should recognise that it is their responsibility and in their best interests to seek help at the earliest possible stage when treatment may be easier and before the problem affects work sufficiently to become a disciplinary matter.
If any employee with an alcohol or drug problem fails to comply with the recommendations of the agreed programme of treatment, immediate disciplinary action may be taken.
Employees enrolled on a rehabilitation programme will usually be subject to normal sickness/absence rules.
Screening when alcohol or drug abuse is suspected
Where line managers observe unusual behaviour or unacceptable performance by an employee at work such that they have reasonable cause to believe that the employee is suffering the effects of drugs or alcohol, the line managers will usually initiate the following procedure.
- They will ask the employee to explain his or her behaviour. They will then ask the employee to accept a referral to a local GPfor a medical examination/review. In all cases a medical examination/review will take place to ensure that there is no underlying medical reason for the unusual behaviour or unacceptable performance and that the employee receives the appropriate and confidential care.
- It is anticipated that most cases will not proceed to a drug and alcohol screen but will be handled using normal line management practices. However, in the absence of a satisfactory alternative explanation for the behaviour or performance, and where the employee is suspected of, or admits to, being in breach of this policy, a drug and alcohol screen will be performed.
- The procedure for screening is held by the GP. The consent form will be prepared by the GP and signed by the employee and the GP taking the samples. Upon completion of the screen, the employee may be suspended on full pay for as short a time as possible until the results of the test are known. The employee may be suspended on full pay pending the screening process if the organisation sees fit.
- If an employee refuses to co-operate with the screening or to allow the organisation access to the results, the consent form will be completed accordingly. The employee will be suspended immediately on full pay and the organisation's disciplinary policy will be instigated. The behaviour that gave rise to the suspicion may also be grounds for disciplinary action. Failure to follow or co-operate with procedures laid down to safeguard the health and safety of employees may be regarded as gross misconduct and may lead to disciplinary action up to and including dismissal.
Dealing with the results
Employees will be told the results of the screen as soon as practicable.
If the result of the screen is negative the employee's behaviour will continue to be investigated and in appropriate cases the Company's disciplinary procedure will be instigated.
If the result is positive, the line manager will continue the investigation and medical advice will be sought.
If no drug or alcohol dependency is found or admitted, the Company's disciplinary procedure will be instigated and, depending on the seriousness of the conduct that gave rise to the investigation, the Company may dismiss the employee.
The Company may alternatively, at its absolute discretion, treat the employee's alcohol or drug dependency as an illness. Where appropriate the employee will be offered support and access to treatment for rehabilitation. A formal rehabilitation plan will be agreed. Any time off to attend rehabilitation will be treated as sickness absence but the employee will receive payment over and above statutory sick pay only at the Company's discretion.
The GP will review the employee's fitness for work and liaise with external agencies (if applicable) to ensure that the employee is co-operating with the rehabilitation programme.
It is anticipated that most employees will complete rehabilitation successfully. However, if the employee fails to complete the rehabilitation programme (or fails any screening tests), the matter will be dealt with in accordance with the Company's disciplinary policy. Failure to complete rehabilitation successfully may be regarded as gross misconduct and may lead to disciplinary action up to and including dismissal.
If the employee does not consent to medical screening, the Company may draw such inferences from that refusal as it sees fit.
Employees should be aware that the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 makes it a criminal offence for the Company to knowingly allow the production or supply on its premises of any controlled drugs, and for any individual who allows such activities by his or her neglect or connivance. The company will press for the prosecution of any employee found breaking these laws on its premises.
The Company will not get involved in an employee's use of drugs or alcohol in his or her private life unless and until that use has an actual or potentially adverse effect upon the employee's performance of his or her duties or upon the best interests (principally name and reputation) of the Company. In these circumstances the fact that the drug or alcohol abuse may be outside the working hours or off Company premises shall not prevent the Company from taking action in response.
The Managing Director is responsible for the implimentation and updating of this policy
Last updated on 9.3.11