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Drugs and Alcohol Policy

Our policy outlines how we deal with issues relating to the legitimate use of prescription medication and over-the-counter drugs and the misuse of illegal and prescription drugs and the social consumption of alcohol.

Drugs – prescribed and recreational

Everyone has a responsibility for their own health and safety and the safety of others who may be affected by their behaviours. We expect everyone to take a responsible attitude to taking prescribed or over the counter drugs, and to seek help (internally and externally) if you have concerns about your drug use.

Where possible, we will offer or signpost you to support where appropriate.

Use of prescribed medication or over-the-counter drugs

If you need to take any prescribed medication or over-the-counter drugs which will have side effects or affect your ability to work safely inside and outside the office, let your Associate or Director know straight away. If you become seriously ill at work we will need this information to give to a first aider, medical professional or your emergency contact called to the scene.

Given that our work is often at client sites, it is important that you consider your fitness to drive if your medication has sedating side effects.  If this is the case, please speak to a Director about this.

Use of recreational drugs in the workplace

Banned substances or illegally-sourced prescription medication should not be taken at work, at client premises or when working from home.   The possession, storage, or selling of controlled drugs on the practice’s premises, at client premises or while attending corporate functions is not permitted.

We are legally obliged to report anyone found selling or in possession of any illegal substance to the police without exception as this is classed as a criminal offence.

Use of recreational drugs outside of working hours

Your private life is exactly that unless activities outside of work have an actual or potential adverse effect upon your wellbeing, attitude, performance of tasks, safety at work, compliance with policies/procedures or the reputation of the Practice

In these circumstances, the practice will need to take measures to manage performance through our capability policy, or if necessary, begin a formal disciplinary procedure.

Available Support

If you have any concerns about your use of drugs, we encourage you to contact an independent advisory service or your GP for further support and advice.

Where possible, and if appropriate, we may be able to secure support if you acknowledge that you are suffering from a drug related problem and a drug abuse problem has been diagnosed by a medical practitioner. You will also be required to cooperate and commit yourself to the referral and treatment as deemed necessary by your GP or our Occupational Health Specialist.

We will, where appropriate give you time off for appointments to access counselling or support, where possible or necessary we will attempt to offer other tasks where possible, for a limited time while you undergo treatment where reasonably practicable.

Disciplinary Action

If you are incapacitated at work through the use of illegal drugs or prescribed medication, we will instigate disciplinary action.  Where your actions put you or others, or the business at risk due to the influence of drugs, we will suspend you from work as a precautionary action and to allow an investigation to take place. Where you refuse to comply with a referral to Occupational Health or another external support system and this has an impact on your work or behaviour, then this will result in disciplinary action.

This is a non-exhaustive list of examples.

Alcohol and its effect on your work

Everyone has a responsibility for their own health and safety and the safety of others who may be affected by their behaviours.  We expect our staff to drink responsibly, seek help where they recognise they have a problem and accept any support offered to you by the Practice or partner support services.

Consuming alcohol at work, work-related social events or corporate events

When alcohol is served as part of work-related or corporate event, each individual and invited guests are personally responsible for their consumption of alcohol and subsequent behaviour. 

As it’s a criminal offence to drive or attempt to drive whilst under the influence of alcohol, we’d expect you to make appropriate travel plans beforehand if you’re likely to drink alcohol at an event, or the next morning when you may still be affected by consumption of alcohol.

Inappropriate behaviour which causes offence or harm to others will be dealt with through the Disciplinary policy, regardless of the timing or location of the work-related event.

If someone who has been drinking alcohol at a work-related event bullies or harasses you, you need to report it to your Associate, Director or the HR Dept. as soon as possible. All reported incidents will be dealt with in accordance with the bullying and harassment policy.

Consumption of alcohol outside of working hours

If there are occasions where the consumption or abuse of alcohol has an adverse effect on your wellbeing, performance, and ability to carry out your duties, the practice will take measures to manage performance through our capability policy. 

Where the consumption of alcohol outside work affects your ability to comply with H&S or the reputation of the Practice, we will where necessary, begin a formal disciplinary procedure.

If you have any concerns about your consumption of alcohol, we encourage you to contact an independent advisory service or your GP for further support and advice.

Find out if you are drinking too much by visiting www.knowyourlimits.info

Where possible, and if appropriate, we may be able to secure support if you acknowledge that you are suffering from an alcohol related problem and an alcohol abuse problem has been diagnosed by a medical practitioner. You will also be required to cooperate and commit yourself to the referral and treatment as deemed necessary by your GP or our Occupational Health Specialist.

We will, where appropriate give you time off for appointments to access counselling or support, offer other tasks where possible, for a limited time while you undergo treatment where reasonably practicable.

If you are incapacitated at work through the consumption of alcohol, we will instigate disciplinary action.  Where your actions put you or others, or the practice at risk due to the influence of alcohol, we will suspend you from work as a precautionary action and to allow an investigation to take place. Where you refuse to comply with a referral to Occupational Health or another external support system and this has an impact on your work or behaviour, then this will result in disciplinary action.

This is a non-exhaustive list of examples.