This policy sets out the Academy’s position with regard to drugs and alcohol within the workplace and the approach it will take when the consumption of drugs or alcohol affects staff performance at work. The associated procedures cover the courses of action which will be taken in one-off situations of staff being under the influence of drugs or alcohol whilst at work, as well as the action to be taken when a member of staff has an underlying drug or alcohol related problem.
The policy applies to all staff employed by and working for the Academy of Forensic Medical Sciences.
Substance Misuse – Drinking alcohol, taking drugs or a controlled substance, either intermittent or continuous which interferes with an individual’s health, work capabilities or conduct, or which affects the work performance and/or safety of themselves and others.
Drug – Means and includes any substance (other than alcohol) that produces physical, mental, emotional or behavioural change in the user, the sale, possession or consumption of which is illegal. This term includes prescription drugs where such prescription drugs have not been prescribed for the person possessing or using such drugs and/or such prescription drugs are not taken in accordance with a physician’s direction.
Controlled Substance – Means and includes all chemical substances or drugs listed in any controlled substances acts or regulations applicable under the law.
The Academy recognises that addiction to alcohol and drugs may in some cases be considered a medical condition and should be treated as such. Staff who may have a problem will be encouraged to seek help and treatment voluntarily and at an early stage.
Medical advice, treatment and monitoring will be offered by in the strictest confidence and with the informed consent of the employee. Details of a confidential nature will normally only be discussed with the employee’s own doctor, other medical specialist, or manager with the prior agreement of the individual.
Whilst alcohol or drug abuse does not excuse poor work performance or misconduct it may be treated as a mitigating factor, and disciplinary procedures may be suspended whilst the opportunity is taken to identify potential alcohol or drug-related problems and, if necessary, to seek treatment. The Drug and Alcohol Policy will be followed in all cases.
It is recognised that alcohol may be available at some of the Academy’ related events (whether held on the premises or not), such as parties, entertaining visitors or other work related events such as training courses. However, employees must be fit for work when conducting duties and are always expected to maintain and be responsible for their own standards of behaviour, with the emphasis on avoiding any actions that could lead to a complaint of misconduct or could harm the reputation of the Academy. Such complaints will be fully investigated and may lead to disciplinary action being taken. Non-alcoholic beverages will always be available as an alternative.