What is the best way to tackle drug and alcohol abuse at work?

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) says that all organisations – large and small – can benefit from agreed policies on drug and alcohol misuse. These should be part of the overall health and safety policy and be drawn up with consultation with staff. Research by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) found that around 60% of employers had drug and alcohol policies in place.

The HSE recommends that employers follow a four-step process:

  1. Find out if there is a problem. Employers should periodically check their sickness and accident records, and disciplinary records.
  2. Decide what to do. Employers should consider providing information on the effects of drug and alcohol misuse, and train managers to identify the signs of misuse. Employers should also encourage staff with drug or alcohol problems to seek help, and provide confidential help and advice.
  3. Take action to put their procedures into effect.
  4. Check what you have done to make sure that the policies are working.

The TUC has produced guidance for reps on developing a drug and alcohol policy (PDF, 60KB).

Note: This content is provided as general background information and should not be taken as legal advice or financial advice for your particular situation. Make sure to get individual advice on your case from your union, a source on our free help page or an independent financial advisor before taking any action.

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