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Drug and Alcohol Abuse
in the Workplace

Help When Needed - Firm Management When Required

Drugs Policy

The misuse of drugs and alcohol can be a serious workplace issue. Not only can their use lead to significant health problems but anyone under the influence of drugs or alcohol can be a hazard to themselves and others. You as an employer have a duty to ensure your employees' health, safety and welfare at work. This means as the employer you would be committing an offence to knowingly allow an employee to work whilst under the influence of alcohol or drugs where it poses a threat to the health and safety of that employee or other people. To knowingly allow controlled drugs to be illegally made, supplied or used on your premises is also an offence.

The UK Government highly recommends, and it is best practice, that as an employer you should have a written policy on drugs and alcohol in the workplace and the strictness of the policy and how it is put into practice will vary depending on your industry. A good policy should offer advice for workers who may have a problem, but also clearly explain any possible disciplinary actions. It should encourage workers to seek help and guide workers to such sources. The policy should apply to all workers, although certain elements, e.g. testing of those doing safety critical jobs, may only apply to some workers.

Free Alcohol and Drug Policy and Document Downloads

Template Drug and Alcohol Policy
which you can download and adapt for your organisation. It has been recently updated to include an optional section on drug / alcohol testing.

Guidelines on Developing and Implementing Workplace Drugs and Alcohol Policies
From the Northern Ireland Drugs and Alcohol Campaign. Very comprehensive and includes an information booklet for workers, and a model policy.

Model Stop and Search Policy
Simple stop and search policy to allow you to implement basic staff search arrangements for your organisation.

Useful Links

Don't mix it
Health & Safety Executive guide for employers on alcohol at work

Drug Misuse at Work
Health & Safety Executive and Partners Guide for Employers on drugs in the workplace.