Substance abuse and fair use

Introduction and purpose

Dealing with substance abuse and its effects in the workplace is a complex matter involving legal, social, safety and health considerations, potentially. This policy is intended to communicate our expectations of employees and to provide a framework for a consistent and fair approach where matters need to be addressed. The policy applies to all employees. However, this policy is not an addition to, nor part of, your contract of employment. It provides guidance, but each case is individual and the procedures may be varied where issues or implications arise that are not covered here.

Where circumstances do give rise to variation, the policy will be reviewed subsequently.

This policy is intended to cover prescribed and legitimate medication, alcohol, classified drugs, psychoactive substances (“legal highs”) and substances that may be mis-used, such as solvents. It is not intended to cover smoking.

Important rules

If you take any prescribed or other legitimate medication (e.g. “over the counter”) you have a personal obligation to us as your employer. You must enquire of your G.P. or pharmacist whether the medication may affect your ability to carry out your duties safely or effectively. If that is the case it must be declared to the Managing Director. You have a joint responsibility with the Managing Director to ensure that a risk assessment is carried out. Reasonable adjustments will be made for anyone who has a disability that is controlled by medication. This applies where the disability is declared, or where we might reasonably be aware of it.

There is to be no consumption of alcohol on the premises other than at events authorised by the company.

If you are representing the company you must use discretion and limit consumption of alcohol. If driving, you must ensure you are within legal limits. If you believe you have exceeded the limits you must make alternative arrangements for which Lara Nichols will reimburse reasonable costs. You may, however, be subject to disciplinary action.

Illegal drug activities or the possession of illegal drugs during the course of employment will be reported to the police. It is also gross misconduct and is likely to result in summary dismissal.

If you are driving or operating machinery you must be capable of doing so safely. If you feel you are affected by alcohol or drugs (including prescribed or legitimate medication) you must cease to drive or operate machinery. Repeated incidents may be subject to disciplinary action, as appropriate. If you continue to drive or operate machinery while affected then you will be subject to appropriate disciplinary action which may include dismissal.

These rules are not exhaustive but are intended to indicate what the company regards as most important.

Where relevant, these rules apply to workers, contractors and visitors to the premises of the company. Contracts may be terminated, with or without notice.

This policy was last reviewed in April 2020