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Why do I need a workplace drug and alcohol policy and what will one cover?

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Why do I need a workplace drug and alcohol policy and what will one cover?  

With drug and alcohol misuse being highly prevalent in the world we live in, there is an increased need for businesses to have a policy in place to prevent the severe consequences that alcohol and substance misuse in the workplace can present. In the very worst cases, alcohol and substance misuse at work could result in death or accidents, causing harm not only to your employees but possibly your clients or visitors too. 

Furthermore, prolonged alcohol and substance misuse can lead to long-term mental health issues, not just temporary impairment.  

Therefore, having a workplace drug and alcohol policy in place is essential for today’s businesses.

What are the benefits of a workplace drug and alcohol policy?  

  1. Having a policy in place will help to demonstrate your duty of care to employees and clients.    
  2. A policy can help to increase safety and achieve better employee health which can help you to reduce absenteeism and increase productivity.  
  3. A policy will mitigate safety risks, reducing the risk of litigation and ensuring your reputation and the relationships you have with employees, clients and prospective clients are protected.  
  4. It will ensure that resources and processes are in place to correctly support your employees and get them the help they may need to overcome or deal with their drug and/or alcohol misuse issues.  
  5. Having a policy in place can help you improve and achieve a great reputation and could increase your chances of winning tenders with clients.  
  6. You could potentially reduce your insurance premiums.  

No business wants to experience a loss in productivity, increased safety risks or lose out on economic benefits due to a lack of, or simply an outdated Workplace Drug and Alcohol Policy.  

It is important that before implementing a policy, you understand what a good policy should cover.

What will a Workplace Drug and Alcohol Policy cover?  

An effective policy will cover the following topics and information:

  • Explain why you have put the policy in place.
  • Explain how your employees are expected to behave.
  • Clearly outline that your business does not tolerate employees misusing drugs and alcohol in the workplace.
  • Outline the support procedures that should be followed if an employee is found to be in breach of the policy. .
  • Provide guidelines on the signs/symptoms of misuse and guidelines on the steps to follow when there is suspicion that an employee may be under the influence.
  • Outline the resources available and where to go should an employee need support – e.g. counselling services, treatment and other avenues for support.  

It is also important that your Workplace Drug and Alcohol Policy is regularly reviewed, to ensure it is always effective and up to date. You should be keeping on top of how changes in your organisation may affect the policy, along with changes in legislation. 

In addition, you should also ensure that your employees are familiar with the policy and are made aware of any changes to the policy that have taken place.  

Eurofins Workplace Drug Testing offers a free-of-charge, no obligation policy drafting / review service. Please contact us today if you would like to know more. 

Phone: 0844 2641 999   email: wdt@eurofins.com