We provide substance misuse legal advice to employers on managing drug and alcohol related issues in the workplace. Our clients span a wide range of sectors and we tailor our advice and support to the needs of each organisation.
With employers having duties in law to provide a safe place of work and safe systems of work for their staff, it is important to ensure appropriate rules and processes are put in place to effectively manage substance misuse issues in the workplace. This should include the rules on coming to work under the influence of alcohol or drugs (both controlled substances and prescribed/over-the-counter medications) and on consuming drugs or alcohol while in the workplace.
Drug and alcohol issues in the workplace can give rise to a number of employment law and HR issues. This can include dealing with misconduct and capability processes along with understanding the engagement of data protection legislation and confidentiality concerns. Many employers are also conscious of the potential reputational damage which can arise when dealing with these issues.
Employers should be clear about how they will deal with any given situation involving drug and alcohol misuse in the workplace and we recommend that responsible businesses put in place robust substance misuse policies tailored to their organisation. When introducing these types of policies, employers should consider the stringency of the approach they wish to take when dealing with substance dependency issues in the workplace along with the relevant employment law, criminal law, health and safety, and other legal considerations. This is where our knowledge and expertise can make the difference between a cogent policy backed up by an enforceable procedure, and a system which is unfit for purpose and undermines what the business is trying to achieve.
Some employers introduce drug and alcohol testing in the workplace and we offer advice to employers on implementing testing procedures. We can link employers with appropriate service providers, including leading drug and alcohol testing companies and occupational health practitioners.
We also provide comprehensive and engaging management training programmes on tackling these issues effectively in the workplace.
For more information on Substance Misuse, please contact a member of our Employment Team.
With an offices in Newcastle and Teesside and office space in Sunderland our team is ideally located to work with clients from all over the North East of England including Cleveland, Durham, North Yorkshire, Tyne and Wear and Northumberland.