Drug and alcohol misuse policy

This policy helps employers to ensure compliance with health and safety legislation by informing employees of the consequences of drug and alcohol misuse within the workplace. The policy sets out employee obligations with regards to alcohol and drug misuse, as well as the employer's rights to act upon the policy, therefore preventing breach of health and safety regulations.
Suitable for use in: England & Wales and Scotland
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About this policy

Alcohol and drug misuse is everyone's concern. Not only does it damage the employee’s health, but it can cost employers through absenteeism and reduced productivity. It may also increase the risk of accidents.

This document provides a framework under which employees can seek help in order to resolve any addictions rather than a framework under which they will automatically be punished. Such a policy increases the likelihood that employees will approach an employer openly about an addiction issue rather than keeping it concealed (and therefore breaking health and safety rules).

The policy helps ensure that all employees are aware of their obligations and responsibilities as well as those of their employer. This can include their employer's responsibility to take action if the employee breaches the policy, and their responsibility to provide help if it is required. It can also provide employees with information as to where they can find help for any addiction or on-going misuse problem.

When to use this document

This policy can be presented to each new employee at the start of employment, or be included within a staff handbook. Ideally, you should introduce it into your organisation as soon as you hire your first employee.

The law relating to this policy

This policy aids compliance with a number of pieces of legislation.

The Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and The Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 ensure that employers are responsible for prohibiting drug and alcohol misuse.

If your employees drive in the course of their employment, you should be aware of additional duties under the Road Traffic Act 1988 and the Transport and Works Act 1992. These acts require drivers not be under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

Application and features

  • Provides a framework for all employees
  • Helps with health and safety compliance
  • Suitable for any sized business or organisation with employees
  • Informs staff of their rights and responsibilities regards drugs and alcohol
  • Aims to reduce the number of employees who abuse drugs and or alcohol
  • Up to date policy encourages non abuse at work
  • Down-to-earth common sense provisions to protect your business
  • Educates staff in best practice
  • Saves hours of individual explanation


  • Background
  • Principles
  • Scope
  • Policy
  • Guidelines
  • Random testing program
  • Consultation
  • Policy implementation
  • Enforcement
  • Review

This document was written by a solicitor for Net Lawman. It complies with current English law.

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