Employers have a legal responsibility to look after employees’ wellbeing, health and safety. A good employer will want to help employees. In some cases, alcohol or drug misuse may be used to help cope with work-related stress. If there is a problem with alcohol or drug misuse in your workplace then this may be part of a wider stress problem.
Some employers treat alcohol and drug misuse as a medical rather than a disciplinary matter. In this case, the chances of overcoming the problem is assessed and a reasonable period of time off for recovery is agreed.
They may also consider appropriate help to treat the employee (for example, by contributing towards the cost of counselling), treat any absence for treatment and rehabilitation as normal sick leave and review the person’s work to ensure that their workload is not contributing to the problem.
What is an alcohol and drugs policy?
Major bodies such as the Confederation of British Industry (CBI), the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), and the Scottish Trade Union Congress (STUC) advise that it is an essential part of good business practice for small and large businesses to adopt an alcohol and drugs policy.
Where there is a policy in place, often employers do not actively promote it to staff and only one-third of employers train managers in how to manage these issues at work.
Click here to find out more about the alcohol and drug policy.