Congratulations in identifying alcohol and drugs as a workplace issue worthy of addressing in a formal policy. A 2017 report from the Alcohol and Drug Foundation found:
Having worked as a HR Manager administering policies to diverse employee groups, my personal opinion is that you want a comprehensive document, although with not so much content that the key message is buried or missed. What is included in your policy will depend on the perceived extent of alcohol and drug use, assessment of associated risks and the individual requirements of your workplace. Here’s my suggestion on topic headings for inclusion:
Purpose and objectives of the drug and alcohol policy
The policy should clearly state its intent to prevent drug and alcohol-related incidents and foster safe behaviours at work.
Scope of the policy
It should be clear that the policy applies to everyone at the workplace: persons conducting a business or undertaking, directors, workers and consultants, as well as visitors, clients, customers and contractors.
The policy should clearly recognise a worker’s right to confidentiality and that any alcohol or drug test results or penalties will be held in the strictest confidence.
A ban on drug and alcohol use in the workplace
Your policy should explicitly state that using drugs or drinking alcohol while on duty is not tolerated.
How any alcohol or drug testing will be implemented
Content should include under what circumstances testing will be undertaken, how any testing will be conducted, whether the program includes random testing (or for cause) and what testing method will be used.
The policy should clearly set out what constitutes an infringement in relation to the policy and what happens when an infringement occurs.
Safeguards for medication
If a worker is taking medication that has the potential to adversely impact on safety, they must notify their supervisor or manager.
There’s a number of other headings you might consider in a workplace alcohol and drug policy. These include a provision for employee education and assistance for those with an existing alcohol or substance addition.
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