You may not be able to secure everything on this checklist – if that is the case, you may wish to consult members on whether the proposed policy is sufficiently positive to be acceptable.
- Does the policy set out the employer’s overall commitment to safety, good employee relations and the promotion of health, safety, and welfare at work?
- Is there a commitment from the employer to encourage an open dialogue between the employee and their line manager?
- Does the policy explain why it’s needed?
- Does the policy aim to create an environment that encourages who may be misusing drugs or alcohol to come forward and seek help?
- Does it provide a framework to deal with instances of substance misuse by employees in an appropriate, fair, and consistent manner?
- Does the policy make clear to whom it applies and what it covers?
- Does the policy make clear that the Drugs and Alcohol policy will be applied in accordance with employment law and the employer’s equal opportunities policy?
- Who has overall responsibility?
- Are management and employee responsibilities clearly defined?
- Is it clear how the employer expects employees to behave to ensure smoking, drugs, alcohol doesn’t affect their work?
- If the manager reasonably believes that an employee has arrived at work under the influence of alcohol or drugs and sends the employee home after consultation with the headteacher/principal, this absence should be treated as sick leave with full sick pay applied in accordance with the employer’s sick pay policy.
- It is important to note that an employee who may have a condition such as epilepsy, brain injuries, diseases can at times appear drunk and therefore, due care should be taken to identify and respond to these individuals appropriately.
Outside of work
- Is the policy clear that employees must not consume intoxicating substances before coming on duty?
- The arrangements for employees who may need help and support should be set out in the policy.
Breaches of the policy
- Is there a commitment from the employer that they will adopt a constructive and supportive approach when dealing with employees who may be experiencing drug or alcohol dependency/addiction?
- It should be clear when disciplinary procedures are likely to be used.
- Is there a review date?
- Does it state that recognised trade unions will be consulted?