This Alcohol and Drug Abuse Policy is the policy and procedure jointly agreed between the North Tyneside Council and its constituent trade unions.

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1 Valley Gardens Middle School Alcohol and Drug Abuse Policy and Procedure This Alcohol and Drug Abuse Policy is the policy and procedure jointly agreed between the North Tyneside Council and its constituent trade unions. INTRODUCTION North Tyneside Council, like every other major employer, is faced with the problem of alcohol and drug abuse at all levels within its organisation. The problem of alcohol and drug abuse has an immediate and well recognised consequences in less well recognised areas contributing not only to crime and violence but also to inefficiency, expense and reduction in work output. Although each individual has a responsibility for his or her own health, those who have responsibility towards staff are often best placed to identify developing problems and to suggest appropriate help. The place of work is a good point at which to offer guidance or assistance to those staff faced with such a problem. The central concern should be to help any member of staff whose work performance and/or behaviour is affected. This policy and procedure has been produced in the light of experience and advice received from national and local organisations dealing with alcohol and drug related problems. It is not concerned with social drinking where this has no effect on work performance and/or behaviour but when there is such effect it is for management to decide whether it is appropriate for the case to be dealt with in accordance with the normal and recognised disciplinary and corrective procedure or within the framework of the policy. The purpose of the document is:- a) To publicise the alcohol and drug abuse recovery programme. b) To assist in the early identification of individuals who are beginning to be affected. c) To encourage staff with alcohol or drug related problems to seek and accept help in the knowledge that both management and colleagues are committed to providing assistance. If they work in an environment that is not hostile to them, staff with such problems are more likely to admit them and to volunteer to have help. d) To spell out the objectives, nature and benefits of the programme which is subject to regular evaluation. e) To commit both management and staff interests to use the policy for the benefit of the workforce and the Authority. Everyone has a role to play in helping those who are abusing alcohol and/or drugs and it is essential that there should be no cover up. No one should feel guilty about bringing the matter to the attention of management; the aim is to help people to recover and to lead a healthy and useful life. Flexibility of action has been built into the procedure to ensure that individual cases which can vary considerably and which tend not to conform to pattern can be dealt with according to individual needs. Overcoming alcohol and drug related problems brings benefits in the first place to the individuals concerned who are at risk of losing their jobs, the employer sees increased efficiency and productivity and the trade union sees increased job security and emphasis on the health and safety of its member.

2 POLICY It is the aim of this policy to prevent problems occurring by means of preventive education and the early detection and treatment of alcohol and/or drugs related problems. The Council is committed to helping employees with identifiable problems and the policy and procedure applies equally to all employees. If the aims of this policy are to be achieved, the general principles stated below must be recognised: 1 That alcohol and drug abuse is primarily a problem which requires specialist help. 2 That the focus of the policy is on impaired work performance and/or behavioural problems which provide a legitimate basis to intervene without meddling in employees private lives. 3 That such a problem can affect all levels of the workforce irrespective of position and as such the policy should apply equally to all employees. 4 That alcohol and drug abuse interferes with the employee s health and job performance and may also cause harm to colleagues, the public and the service as a whole. 5 That employees who believe or suspect that they have an alcohol or drug problem should be encouraged to seek specialist help voluntarily and should be advised where this may be obtained. 6 That employees who are identified through observation or by normal procedures following behavioural problems at work as possibly abusing alcohol and/or drugs will be given the opportunity to seek specialist help if appropriate. 7 That if an employee is asked to seek help from a specialist agency, it is on the understanding that: a) attending the agency under the terms of the alcohol policy will not jeopardise rates of pay or career prospects. b) the employee can, if required, be granted special leave or transferred to another post if their work performance or behavioural problems may cause harm to colleagues, public or the service as a whole. 8 Where referral under the policy is rejected or where the treatment is unsuccessful, normal work regulations and corrective and disciplinary procedures will apply. 9 Where an employee is referred under the policy, confidentiality is guaranteed between the employee, specialist agency and the Line Manager. PROCEDURE Employees who at any time and for any reason may be abusing alcohol and/or drugs should be given an opportunity to obtain specialist help. Should an employee be found to have such a problem then management are committed to offer every assistance in accordance with the provisions of this policy. Guidance on a course of action is as follows:- 1 Identification Alcohol or drug related problems may come to light in two main ways:-

3 a) The individual may choose to seek help on a completely voluntary basis. If an employee believes that they have an alcohol or drug problem then that persons should seek specialist help as soon as possible. Corporate Services Personnel and Employee Training are available to initiate such help if requested. b) The individual's colleague and/or supervisor may identify obvious signs of alcohol and/or drug abuse or deteriorating work performance and/or behaviour. When a colleague and/or supervisor identifies this pattern they should draw this to the attention of the Headteacher concerned. The Headteacher will then arrange for the employee to be interviewed. At this stage Corporate Services, Personnel and Employee Training is available to provide advice and assistance if required. When an employee is visibly under the influence of alcohol or drugs at work the manager concerned should ensure that the employee is escorted home safely and arrangements made for them to be interviewed the following day. 2 Interview The strategy involved in this interview is often described as a "constructive confrontation" which has two components: a) The employee is confronted with the facts observed and informed of the disciplinary consequences of continuing the present pattern. b) The employee is offered help to avoid these consequences. The interview should be confined to aspects of work performance and/or behaviour unless there is clear evidence of alcohol or drug abuse of the employee raises the matter themselves. 3 Discipline In cases where employees have seriously breached disciplinary rules, it is appropriate for the terms of the Authority's corrective and disciplinary procedure to be invoked immediately distinct from, or in tandem with, the terms of this policy and procedure. 4 Offer of Help During the interview, the interviewing officer should state that the employee appears to have a personal problem requiring help and then offer the opportunity of referral to the Line Manager. Alternatively, the employee may prefer to seek help from an alternative agency and if this is considered acceptable to the interviewing officer, this should be arranged after consultation with Corporate Services, Personnel and Employee Training. 5 Help Rejected If the employee rejects an offer of help, the interviewing officer should make a full assessment of the situation and decide whether it is appropriate to take disciplinary action at this stage or allow the employee to continue at his place of work in the knowledge that the situation will be constantly under review. During the interview the interviewing officer should establish what will be regarded as a satisfactory level of work performance and an acceptable pattern of behaviour in the future and indicate clearly that, should the employee fail to meet these requirements, the normal and recognised disciplinary procedures will be implemented.

4 6 Help Accepted Where the employee, in the course of the interview, accepts referral to the Line Manager for assessment, the interviewing officer should immediately arrange an appointment. 7 Problem Confirmed Where the Line Manager identifies a potential problem or the employee recognises that they have a problem, the Line Manager will require the employee to attend a specialist agency. Where the employee is remaining at work, the interviewing officer should interview the employee and convey management s expectations of work performance and or behaviour in the future. 8 Recovery Programme Accepted When the employee accepts the programme offered and declares, or is declared, that they are fit to work, whether there has been a period of sick leave or not, they may do so subject to confirmation by the Line Manager. At this stage, the employee should be interviewed and given management's expectations of work performance and/or behaviour in the future. Where there are doubts about the employee's ability to fulfil the whole range of duties, consultation should take place with, for example, Corporate Services, Personnel and Employee Training, Trade Union, as necessary to enable the Headteacher concerned to reach a reasonable decision. If work problems continue or recur at any time during the period of the recovery programme, the appropriate officer should arrange to interview the employee and determine what action should be taken. 9 Specialised Agency Unable to Help If, after assessment, the Specialised Agency informs the Line Manager that it is unable to help the employee (e.g. the specialised agency does not perceive a problem for which it can offer help, the employee denies the existence of a problem or rejects the need for a recovery programme) the appropriate Officer will then assess what action should be taken, if any, in consultation with Corporate Services, Personnel and Employee Training, Trade Union etc as detailed in the previous paragraph. Where an employee returns to work and work problems recur the appropriate officer may take action within the framework of the normal and recognised corrective and disciplinary procedure. 10 Recovery Programme Discontinued Where the Line Manager informs the Headteacher that the recovery programme has been prematurely discontinued, the Headteacher should make arrangements for the employee to be interviewed with a view to what action, if any, should be taken. 11 Alternative Working Arrangements During Recovery Programme Should a return to post and/or continuation in post carry with it a risk of recurrence of the problem or a risk of jeopardising the health and safety of public and staff, a suitable alternative working arrangement should be provided if available. If no suitable alternative is available the employee may be granted special leave of absence. In appropriate cases temporary or permanent relocation may be offered.

5 12 Completion of Recovery Programme NOTE: When the Line Manager informs the Headteacher that the employee has satisfactorily completed the recovery programme, the Headteacher should arrange for the employee to be interviewed and management's expectations of work performance and/or behaviour in the future can be made clear. The employee should also be encouraged to continue his efforts and be reminded of the sources of help available within the Authority. Heads of Functions should note that guidance on the operation of this procedure may be obtained from Headteacher s PA/Office Manager, Personnel and Employee Training. See attached Appendix B summarising possible courses of action. APPENDIX A ROLES Role of the Council To provide through advice a general climate of awareness of the nature and dangers of abuse of alcohol and drugs for occupational health and safety. Also through advice to help employees as a whole understand the rationale and procedures of the policy. To provide advice and training for those responsible for operating the policy. To consult with and enlist the support of trade unions involved with regard to the operating of the policy. To measure periodically the effectiveness of the policy. Role of Trade Unions To assist in operating the policy on alcohol and drug abuse. To inform the employees of the policy and to encourage employees who may have alcohol and/or drug related problems to seek help voluntarily. To advise members of their rights and responsibilities under the policy and to be available to attend interviews. To help the employee at work and to assist with rehabilitation. Role of Management To be familiar with the policy and procedure. To ensure that employees understand what is expected of them with regard to attendance, work performance, behaviour and safety. To be aware and to monitor changes in work and attendance patterns.

6 To undertake work performance interviews as necessary. To ensure that all employees understand their position vis-à-vis the policy, and to refer employees for assistance as appropriate. To continue to monitor work performance and/or behaviour and attendance patterns thereafter. Role of Corporate Services, Personnel and Employee Training. To promote awareness of alcohol and drug abuse problems and encourage early identification of individuals in need of help. To provide advice and guidance on how best to help an individual who has a problem with behaviour or work performance which might be related to alcohol or drug abuse. Role of the Headteacher To provide assessment of individuals who refer themselves or are referred for help; this includes interview and medical examination. To offer and initiate a recovery programme where appropriate. To provide effective and appropriate communication between employee and all those concerned with recovery. Approved by Staffing Committee: June 2010 Date of review: June 2013

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