OCCUPATIONAL HEALTH AND SAFETY Human Resource Manual Alcohol and Drugs Section 1006 ALCOHOL AND DRUGS

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1 ALCOHOL AND DRUGS PURPOSE 1. The Government recognizes that dependency on alcohol or drugs is a medical problem that professionals can treat. When an alcohol or drug dependency affects an employee's job performance, the employee's decision to seek treatment will not be detrimental to job security. 2. Managers will take appropriate action when an employee's drinking habits or drug abuse interferes with work performance, attendance and interpersonal work relationships. APPLICATION 3. These guidelines and procedures apply to all employees. PROVISIONS 4. Managers should use discretion when dealing with an employee who may have an alcohol or drug dependency. Managers act only if the employee's use of alcohol or drugs interferes with work performance. 5. The manager does not assume responsibility for the employee's problem. The manager's role is to support the employee's efforts to seek treatment. 6. The employee is responsible for dealing with any personal problems so that work performance is brought back to a satisfactory level. 7. The following is a list of symptoms that may indicate an alcohol or drug dependency. By themselves, these symptoms may signify problems other than alcohol or drug misuse. However, a combination of them is a strong sign of a dependency. (1) Work Performance: Productivity is lowered, work pace is uneven, and severe work slumps follow periods of standard output. The employee's concentration and quality of work decrease rapidly. The employee is careless and mistakes increase. Errors in judgment become more serious. The employee tires quickly and may begin to lie about work performance. April 3,

2 (2) Absenteeism: The employee takes more time off work, especially on Mondays or Fridays and may claim increased minor illness. The employee may be frequently late for work, leave work early, take extended lunch periods or have unexplained absences from the job. (3) Reliability: The employee may neglect details, put off assignments or handle them sloppily. The employee may develop a tendency to blame others for short-comings, ask for different job assignments and repeatedly seek loans from fellow employees. (4) Attitudes and Habits: The employee may show sensitivity about references to drinking or drugs. The employee may show increased intolerance and suspicion of fellow workers. (5) Physical Appearance: There may be noticeable changes such as increased nervousness, irritability, hand tremors, swelling or flushing of the face, red eyes. (6) Safety: The employee may experience frequent injuries and lost time due to accidents on and off the job. The employee may carelessly handle machinery leading to accidents and breakdowns. The employee may strain equipment to bring production up to par following periods of low achievement. The employee may fail to follow safety procedures. Employee Responsibility 8. An employees who acknowledges a drug or alcohol dependency should have a medical examination. If the physician diagnoses a dependency, the employee should request a referral to a rehabilitation facility. 9. An employee who wishes to attend a treatment facility should submit an application for sick leave to the manager. The application must state the number of days of paid sick leave or leave without pay that the employee requires. The employee should attach the physician s certification that the referral/treatment is required. 10. If the employee must travel outside the community for treatment, the employee requests medical travel from the Department of Finance. The employee must attach the approved sick leave application and physician s certification. April 3,

3 11. An employee without enough sick leave for the length of the rehabilitation program may submit a request for an advance of sick leave. The manager may advance a maximum of 15 sick leave days. The employee may also request annual leave or sick leave without pay. 12. When rehabilitation programs require the attendance of a spouse, the spouse also may qualify for medical travel assistance. Manager s Responsibility 13. If an employee comes to work impaired, the manager follows the guidelines and procedures outlined in Section Occupational Health and Safety. 14. When a manager suspects that an employee's unsatisfactory job performance results from alcohol or drug abuse, the manager records the following details and advises the next level of management: the name of the employee; all evidence of deteriorating work performance, such as: - tardiness, - absenteeism, - alteration of behaviour, - general attitudes, - poor decisions, - work slowdown, - decrease in quality of work, - accidents, - intoxication on the job. any evidence supporting the belief that the unsatisfactory job performance may be the result of alcohol or drug abuse. 15. The manager interviews the employee, expressing concern with work performance. The manager bases this statement on previously recorded facts and avoids discussing the employee's drinking/alcoholism or drug abuse unless the employee brings it up. The manager may introduce this in a specific, directly related situation, such as intoxication on the job. The manager should offer assistance in any way possible. April 3,

4 16. If the employee brings up a drinking or drug abuse problem, the manager presents the following information to the employee: (1) alcoholism and drug abuse are considered illnesses. (2) sick leave credits, and advances, may be used by the employee to undergo medical assessment, approved treatment or hospitalization. (3) medical travel benefits are available for the employee to attend a rehabilitation program or treatment facility. 17. The manager directs the employee to see a physician for diagnosis and a recommended treatment plan. 18. If the employee denies any problem or need for help, the manager does the following: (1) points out that management expects the employee to take steps to improve work performance. (2) informs the employee that management will continue to monitor and document the employee's work performance. (3) informs the employee that if work performance does not improve, management will take further disciplinary action. 19. The manager prepares a letter to the employee confirming the discussion. 20. If there is no improvement in the employee's performance, the manager holds a second interview with the employee. During the second interview the manager presents the employee with the documented facts. The manager informs the employee that: (1) help is still available. (2) management will take disciplinary action if the employee is unwilling to change. (3) disciplinary action may eventually result in dismissal. April 3,

5 21. The manager follows up this meeting and any later meetings with a letter to the employee outlining the discussion. 22. If necessary, the manager calls a Staff Relations Consultant for advice and assistance. 23. If necessary, the manager calls the Employee Relations Division (Workplace Health and Safety Section) of the Department of Human Resources to get help with the administration of medical benefits for alcohol/drug treatment. CONTACTS 24. For clarification or further information, please contact: Director Employee Relations Department of Human Resources Iqaluit, Nunavut April 3,

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