Human Resources Team Human Resources Directorate. Alcohol and Substance Misuse Policy

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1 Human Resources Team Human Resources Directorate Alcohol and Substance Misuse Policy 1

2 Contents Scope... 3 Objectives... 3 Responsibilities... 3 Guidelines Absenteeism High Accident Level Work Performance Behaviour Misconduct Self-Referral Treatment and Assistance Serious Misconduct Caused by Alcohol, Drugs or Solvents... 6 a) Intoxicated Employees... 6 b) Drug Misuse on De Montfort University Premises Confidentiality... 7 Appendix Support Networks... 8 National Drugs Help Line... 8 SCODA (Standing Conference on Drug Abuse)... 8 Release... 8 Council for Involuntary Tranquilliser Addiction... 8 Families Anonymous... 9 Cocaine Anonymous... 9 Alcoholics Anonymous... 9 Narcotics Anonymous

3 Scope De Montfort University recognises the potential dangers of alcohol, drug and solvent misuse (substance misuse) to the individual, students and the organisation. De Montfort University acknowledges that anyone can be involved in substance misuse, at any level in the university, and regards it initially as a health problem, rather than an immediate cause for disciplinary action. De Montfort University acknowledges that the consumption of alcohol during work-related social events is permitted but staff should be aware that they are representing the University and behave in a responsible manner. Staff who have to come back to work following a work related event must be free from the effects of alcohol. This policy applies to all employees of De Montfort University. It is the duty of all employees to report staff that put the health and safety of others at risk. Objectives The objectives of this policy are: To protect colleagues, students and others from illness or injury caused by employees who are unfit to work through consumption of alcohol or drugs. To ensure that drug and alcohol misuse and its consequences do not occur on De Montfort University premises. To encourage early recognition of alcohol and drug related problems. To help any employee with a drug or alcohol related problem to obtain qualified, confidential assistance to overcome the problem. To restore the capability of any employee with an alcohol or drug related problem to an acceptable level within a reasonable timescale. Responsibilities De Montfort University, whenever possible, will offer assistance to employees who have alcohol or substance misuse problems. There may be, however, some instances when this offer may not be appropriate and line managers must assess each case individually. Although De Montfort University prefers to deal with substance misuse related problems in a supportive way, it reserves the right to implement the disciplinary procedures where performance, conduct, safety or criminal behaviour may arise. De Montfort University will promote awareness of the problems of substance misuse and will offer advice through its Occupational Health Service. Line Managers who suspect one of their team of having a substance misuse issue should discuss the matter with their HR Partner before approaching the employee with their concern. 3

4 The Line Manager will then discuss the matter with the employee and try to establish the cause of the substance misuse issue. The employee should be reminded or informed of the assistance De Montfort University is prepared to give employees who are trying to overcome substance misuse and should be informed of the outside agencies who can help (Appendix 1). The line manager is responsible for: Consulting with the Occupational Health Service. Informing the employee that De Montfort University requires his/her performance to be improved to an acceptable standard. Informing the employee that failure to achieve this will result in disciplinary action being taken. Agree with the employee what follow-up action is to be taken. Consider Health and Safety implications which lead to effective management action. Appropriate records should be kept by the line manager to ensure that health and safety requirements have been complied with. If the employee denies that either alcohol or drugs are the cause of the problem (whether believed or not), he or she should be treated as for any other disciplinary/capability problem; whichever is judged as appropriate by the Line Manager. Employees must not: Use, possess, conceal, transport, promote or sell prohibited substances whilst on De Montfort University premises, in De Montfort University vehicles, or when representing De Montfort University in a professional capacity. Report for work under the influence of prohibited substances. Consume alcohol, prohibited drugs or any other illegal substances in the office or on site. Alcohol consumption is allowed when De Montfort University provides or condones alcohol at functions or special occasions. When consuming alcohol at such functions employees are always reminded of their responsibilities in representing the University in a positive light and most importantly their safety when travelling back from work. 4

5 Guidelines Line Managers should be aware that the misuse of drugs, alcohol or solvents by employees may come to light in various ways. The following characteristics, especially when arising in combinations, may indicate the presence of a substance misuse problem. 1. Absenteeism Instances of unauthorised leave. Frequent Friday and/or Monday absences. General confusion. Leaving work early. Lateness (especially on returning from lunch). Excessive levels of sickness absence. Strange and increasingly suspicious reasons for absence. Unusually high levels of sickness for colds, flu, stomach upsets. Unscheduled short-term absences, with or without explanation. 2. High Accident Level At work. Elsewhere, e.g. driving, at home. 3. Work Performance Difficulty in concentration. Work requires increased effort. Individual tasks take more time. Problems with remembering instructions or own mistakes. 4. Behaviour Irritability. Depression. Please note all the signs listed above may be caused by other factors and should be regarded only as indications that an employee may have an alcohol problem or be misusing drugs. This list is not exhaustive and must be used with considerable care as many of the signs are not exclusive to alcohol misuse and may be indicative of other problems. 5. Misconduct An employee s substance problem may come to light as a mitigating factor in a disciplinary interview, provided the individual is prepared to undergo treatment. 5

6 6. Self-Referral Where an employee comes forward voluntarily to seek help for him or herself: De Montfort University will provide confidential assistance, through its Occupational Health Service, to help address the problem. For a referral to be considered voluntary, it must be unconnected with any disciplinary/capability matter, incident or misconduct. Where an individual has come forward voluntarily a rehabilitation programme will be agreed between the individual, De Montfort University and the Occupational Physician, who will determine fitness to work and progress. The question of time off to attend for treatment is a matter for management discretion and may include paid or unpaid periods of leave in line with the Special leave for compassionate/domestic reasons. All consultations between the employee and any advisers in connection with treatment and rehabilitation will be in the strictest of confidence. Progress reports to the Human Resources Department will be in terms of fitness for duty rather than containing specific details of clinical condition. 7. Treatment and Assistance Where an employee acknowledges that they have a problem and are provided with assistance by De Montfort University, this will be on the understanding that: De Montfort University will give employees, assessed as having a substance misuse problem, reasonable time off which will be agreed with their line manager. Every effort should be made to ensure that on completion of the rehabilitation programme employees are able to return to the same or equivalent role. 8. Serious Misconduct Caused by Alcohol, Drugs or Solvents a) Intoxicated Employees If an employee is known or observed to be intoxicated during working hours to give just cause that they are not carrying out their duties appropriately, or that they present a substantive risk to other persons they will be precautionary suspended from duty while the circumstances are investigated in line with the disciplinary procedure. In serious cases such incidents may be treated as gross misconduct leading to dismissal. b) Drug Misuse on De Montfort University Premises Employees who take illicit drugs, which have not been medically prescribed, to them on medical grounds, will, in the absence of mitigating circumstances, be deemed to be committing an act of gross misconduct, and will thus render themselves likely to be summarily dismissed after a thorough investigation has been completed, as will any employee believed to be buying or selling drugs, or unlawfully in possession of drugs. 6

7 There are occasions when an employee s performance or behaviour may be affected by the use of prescribed or over-the-counter medicines. In these circumstances employees should inform their line manager that they are taking medication and describe how they think this may adversely affect their performance. The line manager will decide whether further advice is needed from the Occupational Health Service. 9. Confidentiality All employees under this policy are guaranteed confidentiality while undergoing a programme of treatment. No personal record is made that the employee has undergone any treatment, and all other relevant personnel will only be told on a need-to-know basis. Employees are encouraged to tell their doctors about the treatment but are not obliged to do so. 7

8 Appendix 1 Support Networks National Drugs Help Line Telephone: Tel (Text): Web: A 24-hour confidential drug, information, help, advice and support line. A call to this line will NOT appear on your telephone bill. The help line is available in English and other languages. SCODA (Standing Conference on Drug Abuse) Telephone: Fax: Waterbridge House Loman Street London SE1 0EE SCODA can provide advice and information. They can also tell you about drug advice agencies in your area. Release Telephone Help line: Web: Old Street London EC1V 9LT A national advice agency on drug use and abuse and drug related problems that specialise in legal issues. Council for Involuntary Tranquilliser Addiction Office line- (0151) (Monday to Thursday 10am-4pm) Helpline - (0151) (Monday to Friday 10am-1pm, Weekends and Bank Holidays) Fax - (0151)

9 CITA The JDI Centre 3 11 Mersey View Waterloo 6 Liverpool L22 6QA Helps people on benzodazepine tranquillizers and sleeping pills to come off their drugs and back to health. Helps people with anxiety problems and other prescribed drug problems. Provides training for health professionals and counsellors. Families Anonymous Helpline: Web: The Doddington and Rollo Community Association Charlotte Despard Avenue London SW11 5HD Helps families and friends of drug abusers, to relieve distress and aid recovery. Runs a telephone help line and encourages the formation of local support groups. Fellowships of self-help groups for those concerned about drug abuse or related behavioural problems of a friend or relative. Cocaine Anonymous Tel: Web: P O Box London E2 9WF A self-help group and help-line that deals with all aspects of cocaine abuse. Alcoholics Anonymous Tel: (National 24 hour Helpline): Tel: Fax: Web: PO Box 1 Stonebow House Stonebow York YO1 7NJ 7 9

10 A help-line service for people who want help or advice about alcohol. Alcoholics Anonymous also run many local self-help groups to help recovering alcoholics. Contact them for further details of local meetings. Narcotics Anonymous Tel: / Web: City Road London EC1V 2PH A self-help group and help-line that deals with all aspects of opiate abuse. 10

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