A workplace policy is a formal statement of an organisation's intent, clearly setting out the rules and procedures for dealing with a particular issue.
A drug and alcohol policy states how an organisation aims to prevent substance misuse problems in the workplace, and if they occur, how that organisation will treat an employee who may have a drug or alcohol problem.
Alcohol and drug misuse is a growing problem in society and an increased number of employers are having to deal with its consequences. Those who have developed policies are the best prepared. Organisations, large and small, will benefit from having a formal policy. It is a good idea to have a policy in place even if there is no evidence of current misuse.
Fairness A policy will enable the organisation to deal fairly with any problems which may arise in the future.
Consistency Consistency of practice is ensured.
Legislative obligations A policy can help an organisation deal with drink - or drug - related problems in the workplace in a considered way, recognising their obligations under legislation.
Description of Procedures A drugs and alcohol in the workplace policy is therefore a description of how the organisation requires such matters to be dealt with.
No Soft Option
Discipline If an employee admits to having a drug or alcohol related problem, and is motivated to recover, a policy should seek to help them. However, some forms of substance misuse (e.g. supply) cannot be condoned, and some forms of behaviour cannot be condoned. The policy will also state the circumstances in which disciplinary action will be taken.
Visit Caterer‘s drink and drug campaign, Be Aware, at www.caterersearch.com/beaware