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What should be in my employer's drugs or alcohol policy?
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) advises that employers should adopt a drugs and alcohol policy in consultation with staff. A policy should include information on how the organisation expects staff to limit their drinking, how problem drinking will be recognised and what help will be offered, and the circumstances where a worker's drinking would be treated as a disciplinary matter rather than a health problem.
The HSE’s model policy on drug misuse contains:
- a statement of the policy's aims, and to whom it applies;
- an indication of who is responsible for carrying out the policy;
- a definition of drug misuse;
- rules about how employees are expected to behave;
- safeguards making it clear that absence for treatment and rehabilitation is covered by normal sickness absence, and recognition that relapses may occur;
- assurance that employees with drug problems will be treated in confidence, subject to the law;
- a description of support available to employees with drug problems, and a statement encouraging employees with drug problems to seek help voluntarily;
- a commitment to providing all employees with general information about drugs and their impact on health and safety; and
- details of the disciplinary procedures, for example, stating that possession/dealing will be automatically reported to the police.