A) Alcohol and drugs
Alcohol and drug misuse can have an adverse effect not just on an individual but on their colleagues, customers and the public. Having a safe working environment, providing excellent customer service by maintaining productivity levels and avoiding days being lost to illness are all critical to our success.
The Company requires all employees to comply with the Alcohol and Drugs Policy. Breaches of the policy will be taken very seriously and may be dealt with under the appropriate Company disciplinary procedure.
For the purposes of this policy, the term ‘drugs’ is used to describe both illegal drugs and other psychoactive (mind-altering) substances which may or may not be illegal.
B) Key rules
a) Employees must ensure that they are not intoxicated by alcohol and are free of any drugs when they report for work and that they remain so whenever they are at work;
b) Employees must not drink alcohol during working time.
c) The use, possession, storage, transportation, promotion and/or sale of drugs or drug equipment is forbidden during working time, in the workplace or at a customer’s site;
d) Where employees are prescribed medication or are taking over-the-counter medicines or herbal remedies that may affect their work performance or the safety of themselves or others, they must advise their Line Manager.
e) Employees may be required to undergo testing for alcohol or drugs in their system in certain defined circumstances.
C) Policy compliance
The Company strongly discourages employees from drinking any alcohol prior to driving or reporting to work (including at lunchtimes).
Employees must be aware of what they drink and take into account how long it takes for the alcohol to clear their system.
Employees must not drink alcohol during working time. Working time is any time between when an employee reports for work and the time when they finish work. It includes any period of call out done whilst on standby duty or overtime working.
Employees must not have any drugs in their system when they arrive at work or at any time throughout the working day. Individuals taking illegal drugs at any time are breaking UK law and increasing the risks to their health and safety. Whilst some psychoactive substances are not illegal, they mimic the effects of illegal drugs and therefore pose the same risks to health and safety. Because of this, they are treated by the Company in the same way as illegal drugs for the purposes of this policy.
The use, possession, storage, transportation, promotion and/or sale of drugs or drug equipment is forbidden during working time, in the workplace or at the worksite and is a breach of this policy and the law. In any of these situations the Company may take appropriate action including disciplinary action up to and including dismissal. The Company will also have a duty report any criminal activity to the relevant authorities.
D) Prescribed medication
The policy does not stop employees from using prescribed medication, over-the-counter medication or herbal remedies. However, medication like tranquillisers, sleeping pills, pain-killers, decongestants, cough suppressants, antihistamines (for treatment of hay fever or other allergies) and antidepressants can make people feel drowsy and may affect their work performance or the safety of themselves or others. So, if an employee is taking any medication they should:
a) Check the possible side effects with their doctor or pharmacist; and
b) Let their Line Manager know in confidence, who will, if necessary, make alternative duty arrangements for them.
If an employee comes forward voluntarily and seeks help for an alcohol or drug problem they will be given help and support by the Company. If an employee thinks they have a problem and may be violating the policy as a result, it is very much in their interest to come forward and seek help voluntarily. The Company will be sympathetic and will ensure they get the help and support they need.
If an employee asks for help, the Company will be supportive in every way possible and can suggest professional advice and help. If an employee volunteers to the Company that they have an alcohol or drug problem they will be treated with dignity, at all times. Any discussions will be in the strictest of confidence.