Substance Misuse Policy – A Supportive Approach

This policy applies to all employees, workers, contractors and visitors to the company’s premises.

We reserve the right to amend this policy at any time.
‘Substance Misuse’ refers to the use of legal or illegal substances that have psychoactive effects, for non-medical, excessive or unintended purposes.

We reserve the right to amend this policy at any time.
‘Substance Misuse’ refers to the use of legal or illegal substances that have psychoactive effects, for non-medical, excessive or unintended purposes.

Substance Misuse includes:

  • use of illegal psychoactive substances;
  • misuse of drugs that have a psychoactive effect but are intended for medical applications (i.e. controlled substances that may only be manufactured by certain organisations and may be prescribed by a doctor);
  • excessive use of legal substances (e.g. alcohol abuse);
  • misuse of substances designed for non-medical applications that have a psychoactive effect (e.g. solvents).

In this policy ‘Drug’ means all substances that have a psychoactive effect and have not been prescribed by a doctor in the particular case.

Our aims are to:

  • Ensure a safe and healthy environment for all staff, customers and visitors
  • Comply with all relevant legal requirements and prohibitions
  • Insofar as it is reasonably feasible support staff who have developed addiction problems to overcome their addiction and recover

It is an offence for any person to knowingly permit the production, supply or use of Drugs on their premises. The company will not tolerate this type of behaviour and must act to both prevent it, and if it is found to have taken place, report it to the police authorities.
It is also an offence to be under the influence of drugs or alcohol when driving or otherwise in charge of a vehicle and the company will exercise due diligence to avoid this.

Substance Misuse is normally damaging to the misuser’s health, either because the substance is harmful to health or because it is addictive and leads to health problems and poor life choices that cause or contribute to health problems.
Depending on a misuser’s work duties, Substance Misuse can represent a serious risk to the health and safety of others.
Substance Misuse tends to adversely affect productivity and work attendance; it represents a real cost to employers.
Substance Misuse also carries serious reputational risks, both for the misuser and the company.

[EITHER] At present the company does not operate an employee Drugs or alcohol abuse screening programme, however, it may adopt one if it has good cause to consider this necessary to prevent Substance Misuse.
[OR] In order to prevent Substance Misuse the company requires new employees to undertake [drugs] OR [Drugs and alcohol abuse] screening.
The company [may] require[s] existing employees to undertake screening OPTIONAL [based on random selection] OPTIONAL [every ] OR [from time to time] to ensure Substance Misuse has not become a problem.
The company may require an employee to undergo screening:
following an accident or incident at work and so that Substance Misuse can be ruled out in any investigation;
where an employee’s behaviour gives rise to a reasonable suspicion that a Substance Misuse problem exists;
to ensure abstinence where a Substance Misuse problem has been identified.
When screening takes place the fact that screening was undertaken will be recorded along with the outcome. The data gathered in the screening process will only be retained in the event that the employee test positive for the substance/s tested.
The company’s disciplinary policy includes being under the influence of illegal drugs or alcohol or bringing such substances to work as an example of gross misconduct and an employee who does this runs a high risk of being summarily dismissed.
The risks summarised above are highly relevant in the context of misconduct and will be considered when deciding the outcome in any case.
Any employee who has a concern about substance misuse by any person covered by this policy must report it to their line manager or a director without delay.

An employee who has a problem with substance misuse may report this to their manager or a company director and the matter will be kept strictly confidential.
So long as misuse does not take place on company premises, during working hours or in circumstances that create a risk to the health and safety of others, the company’s policy is to listen, understand and provide reasonable support for recovery.
Where reasonable and practicable the company will allow time off to attend therapy and / or support group meetings if these cannot be arranged outside of normal working hours.
The company’s policy is to be supportive of recovery if at all possible, particularly when an employee admits a substance misuse problem and this policy will be taken into consideration in the context of any substance misuse misconduct that is found to have taken place.

Policy Adopted Date:
Due for Review Date: