Drug and Alcohol policy
1. GROUP POLICY STATEMENT
1.1 This policy applies to Melton Renewable Energy UK Limited (“MRE”) and its subsidiaries (“the Group”).
1.2 The purpose of MRE’s Drug and Alcohol Policy is to promote and protect the health, safety and wellbeing of the Group’s Employees, Workers (including contractors, consultants, and those supplied by agencies who are not Group Employees) and of third parties, while protecting the Group’s business interests, including its ability to contract and compete in the marketplace.
1.3 This policy details the level and standard of conduct expected of all Employees, Workers and third parties who are working for or with the Group. This policy does not form part of the terms and conditions of employment of Group Employees nor Workers nor third parties, but it does set out work rules and details the disciplinary action which may be taken against those who breach this policy.
1.4 The Group’s businesses are accountable for implementing this policy and employees’ support and professionalism are essential in making it truly effective.
2. TO WHOM DOES THIS POLICY APPLY
2.1 This policy applies to: (i) all of the Group’s Employees, whether permanent, temporary, casual, part-time or on fixed-term contracts (the “Employee(s)”); (ii) individuals such as consultants, contractors and those supplied by agencies who are not our Employees, but who work with and on behalf of the Group; (iii) third parties providing services to the Group and their employees; and (iv) any individuals who operate under the direction of the Group (the “Worker(s)”).
3. POLICY DETAILS
3.1 The Group wishes to maintain a safe working environment and in so doing to meet its legal obligations and to discharge its duty of care for its Employees, Workers, third parties and those who visit its premises or interact with its staff during the performance of their duties.
3.2 Equally Employees and Workers have a legal duty to take reasonable care of themselves and others who may be affected by their work, their conduct or their behaviour at work. The Group will take appropriate action where the actual or suspected use of drugs or alcohol has taken place, as this creates a health and safety risk and threatens to bring the Group into disrepute.
3.3 The Group wishes to maintain high levels of productivity at its premises. Drugs and alcohol may not only affect an individual’s ability to do their job effectively, but may cause long lasting harm to the individual’s health and well-being, and create risks and hazards to the health, safety and wellbeing of not only themselves but those around them.
3.4 The Group aims to work with Employees to identify and treat drug and alcohol problems, including the misuse of over the counter medication as well as illegal substances (together “controlled substances” as more fully described in 5.4.3 below).
3.5 Employees and Workers risk committing an offence under The Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 if they supply, offer to supply or produce controlled drugs or permit knowingly the production or supply of any controlled drugs, or allow the use of any controlled substance on Group premises.
3.6 The use of alcohol and drugs in breach of this policy will give rise to disciplinary action, possibly leading to dismissal (and/or being barred from site) depending on the facts, circumstances and seriousness of the case. Infringements of this Policy by an Employee will be dealt with under the Group’s Disciplinary Policy.
3.7 In the event that there is a breach of this policy by a Worker, the Group reserves the right to cease the services of such Worker in line with the procedure set out in 7.2
3.8 This policy will be reviewed periodically to evaluate its effectiveness and will be amended by the Group where appropriate.
4. EMPLOYEE AND WORKER RESPONSIBILITIES
4.1. Employee and Worker responsibilities include the following:
4.1.1. To present themselves for work free from the effects of alcohol and drugs. For the purposes of this policy, a non-negative test result for drugs or alcohol is deemed to confirm that the individual in question is suffering from the effects of the substance in question.
4.1.2. To perform all job functions, whether on or off Group premises, free from the effects of alcohol or drugs.
4.1.3. Not to render themselves incapable of properly carrying out their duties due to alcohol or drugs.
4.1.4. To refrain from consumption of alcohol or drugs at work, at any time on Group premises:
(i) The consumption of alcohol on the Group’s premises is prohibited with no exceptions;
(ii) Drugs prescribed to an individual by a doctor or medication which can be bought over the counter in a pharmacy which are being taken for legitimate medical purposes are exempted from this policy provided they do not have any side effect on the Employee or Worker’s capacity to function normally such as an intoxicating side effect, the causing of drowsiness or nausea, etc. (“Side Effect”);
(iii) If these prescribed drugs or medication (being taken for medical purposes) have Side Effects, the Employee must notify the Group HR Manager of these Side Effects before or as soon as they report to work. The Group HR Manager will treat this information confidentially and (with the assistance of a medical advisor) will determine whether the taking of that medication prohibits the Employee from undertaking certain tasks and/or remaining in the workplace whilst undergoing the course of treatment; and
(iv) Workers should notify their line manager at induction if prescribed drugs or medication (being taken for medical purposes) have Side Effects. The line manager should notify the Group HR Manager who will liaise with a medical advisor to determine whether the taking of that medication prohibits the Worker from undertaking certain tasks and/or remaining in the workplace whilst undergoing the course of treatment.
4.1.5. To refrain from use of alcohol or drugs outside work when the effects will prevent attendance at work or whilst “on-call”. For the purposes of this policy, a non-negative test result for drugs or alcohol is deemed to confirm that the individual in question is suffering from the effects of the substance in question.
(i) Employees must not abuse the Group sick pay scheme by calling in sick due to excessive consumption of alcohol or drugs in their free time. A hangover from alcohol or drugs is not a genuine sickness which excuses an Employee from work and the Group may discipline Employees who abuse the Group sickness absence procedures in this way.
4.1.6. To refrain from bringing, manufacturing or distributing alcohol or drugs on Group or client premises or permitting others to do so.
(i) Employees and Workers should not bring alcohol or illegal drugs to work. However, in special circumstances (e.g. where an Employee or Worker gives or receives alcohol as a gift) alcohol may temporarily be in an Employee’s or Worker’s possession provided the container remains unopened and sealed whilst it is on Group premises and it should be removed from the premises at the earliest opportunity; and
(ii) The possession, consumption, provision or purchase of illegal drugs during work on the Group’s premises will be treated as gross misconduct and will therefore make the Employee liable for dismissal. The services of Workers may be terminated, and any of those who employ Workers, in terms of this policy, will be asked to deal with such matters to the reasonable satisfaction of the Group.
4.1.7. In relation to inspections which we may carry out:
(i) If there is reasonable suspicion that an Employee or Worker is violating this policy, inspections may include searching all Group property and premises such as lockers, offices, parking areas, desks, files and vehicles;
(ii) If there is reasonable suspicion that an Employee or Worker is violating this Policy the Employee’s or Worker’s personal possessions on Group premises will also be subject to inspection;
(iii) If an Employee unreasonably refuses to consent to searches, then such refusal may lead to disciplinary action being taken and/or may be taken into account in any disciplinary investigation which is undertaken under this policy; and
4.1.8. Where a Worker unreasonably refuses to consent to searches then the services of that Worker may be terminated, and those who employ the Worker will be asked to deal with the matter to the reasonable satisfaction of the Group.
4.1.9. To cooperate with alcohol and drug testing.
5. TYPES OF TESTING
5.1. “For Cause” Testing
5.1.1. “For Cause” testing will be undertaken to establish whether alcohol or drugs was a factor in an accident or incident, or in behaviour giving cause to suspect that a person is unfit to continue work.
5.1.2. Arrangements “For Cause” testing to be carried out by our accredited external testing company can be made in any of the following circumstances:
(i) Following an accident or incident;
(ii) Where an employee’s behaviour gives grounds to suspect that they may be unfit for work due to alcohol or drugs; and
(iii) As part of an on-going treatment monitoring programme.
5.1.3. ”For Cause” testing shall NOT be restricted to employees but shall also be undertaken on a sub-contractor’s employees where appropriate.
5.1.4. Managers and supervisors shall ensure that ”For Cause” testing for alcohol and drugs is initiated following any accident or incident where there are reasonable grounds to suspect that safety has been compromised as a result of the consumption of alcohol or drugs.
5.1.5. If a person is hospitalised as a result of an accident or incident, ”For Cause” testing shall only be carried out on that person with the consent of the medical practitioner in charge.
5.1.6. ”For Cause” testing shall not be required for a person who has been tested by the police.
5.1.7. Managers and supervisors shall ensure that ”For Cause” testing for alcohol and drugs is initiated for any Employee whose behaviour gives cause to suspect that they are unfit for work due to alcohol or drugs.
5.1.8. Managers or supervisors who believe a ”For Cause” test is required should seek agreement from the Group HR Manager and/or Group SHE Manager prior to notifying the external testing company.
5.1.9. Any person that has been subject to ”For Cause” testing will be accompanied home and suspended from carrying out any operations at site until a negative screening result is received.
5.2. Unannounced Random Testing
5.2.1. An external testing company will attend Group sites unannounced from time to time. Random testing will be performed where an Employee or Worker is randomly selected by the external testing company for random testing from a list of those present at that location.
5.2.2. Included in the list are all Employees and Workers who are working on or visiting the specific Group sites. Employees and Workers will be identified on this list only by their name and on no other basis.
5.2.3. Employees and Workers will be selected from the list entirely at random. After the selection process has taken place, the external testing Company will then advise the Group HR Manager of the identities of those persons that are to be tested. The Group will have no involvement whatsoever in the selection process.
5.2.4. Employees subject to unannounced random testing shall continue to undertake their normal duties whilst awaiting the results of such testing unless there are reasonable grounds to suspect they are unfit for duty at the time of testing.
5.3. Organisation and Administration of Testing
5.3.1. All testing will be organised, administered and controlled by the external testing company.
5.3.2. Where an Employee or Worker is selected for testing, they will be required to sign a consent form agreeing to provide a sample (urine and/or breath) to the external testing company. No sample will be taken from an Employee or Worker forcibly or secretly. Employees or Workers will be referred to this policy and the consent forms for signing immediately before each incidence of testing.
5.3.3. Refusal to consent to testing may result in disciplinary action being taken and/or may be taken into account in any disciplinary investigation which is taken under this policy. The services of Workers may be terminated, and those who employ the Worker will be asked to deal with the matter to the reasonable satisfaction of the Group.
5.4. Test Results
5.4.1. Once the consent form has been signed, the external testing company will take a sample from the Employee or Worker. This initial screening test will be carried out on site and if non negative will then be passed to an external laboratory for further scientific analysis. The laboratory will inform the Group HR Manager of the results of this analysis. The Group HR Manager will be informed by the external testing company of all test results for alcohol or drugs, whether they are negative or positive.
5.4.2. Where an Employee’s sample gives an immediate non negative reading for alcohol or drugs and it is deemed appropriate, the Group reserves the right to suspend the Employee on full basic pay pending (i) a second test result; (ii) the conclusion of disciplinary proceedings; and (iii) receipt of the full laboratory results.
5.4.3. A non-negative result means screening for alcohol and drugs that shows:
- The presence of controlled substances which may include the following:
- Amphetamines including Ecstasy;
- Opiates including heroin;
- Cannabis; and/or
- Propoxyphene or Phencyclidine.
- Medication that affects work performance, that has not been reported; or
- More than 35 micrograms (22 in Scotland) of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath.
5.4.4. Where a Worker’s sample gives an immediate non negative reading for alcohol or drugs the Group will immediately require them to leave the Group’s premises or site on which they were working. Following receipt of the laboratory results the services of the Worker may be terminated and in the event that the Worker is employed by a contractor the Group will report the positive result to them.
6. SUPPORT AVAILABLE FROM THE GROUP
6.1. If any Employee has a drug or alcohol problem they are encouraged to voluntarily refer themselves to the Group HR Manager.
6.2. The Group recognises that there is a difference between misconduct (excessive consumption of alcohol or drugs before work or working in an intoxicated state) and dependency on alcohol or drugs. The Group is committed to promotion of Employee health and as such recognises that the abuse of alcohol and drugs, including dependence on prescribed drugs (such as tranquillisers or pain killers) are problems for which treatment is available. Without prejudice to any disciplinary action that is taken, the Group wishes to support and assist any Employee who has a drug or alcohol dependency, including support in seeking the appropriate treatment.
6.3. Any Employee who believes that they have a problem with alcohol or drugs, or thinks that they are at risk of developing one, is encouraged to seek early advice from the Group HR Manager. In such circumstances the Group’s objective is to encourage the individual concerned to seek advice or treatment before his or her work is affected. The Group will look favourably on any voluntary self-referral and will assist an Employee in these circumstances.
6.4. Where appropriate, the Group will require the Employee to consult with a medical advisor and seek advice, counselling and treatment as agreed with the medical advisor.
6.5. Failure to use the voluntary self-referral procedure or to come to an agreement to seek advice, counselling or treatment will result in the Group initiating the compulsory referral procedure detailed below.
6.6. Where performance, attendance or conduct issues or other work-related problems exist which are thought to be caused, affected or enhanced by misuse of alcohol or drugs, the Employee concerned may be compulsorily referred to an external medical advisor by the Group HR Manager and will be required to undergo a treatment programme where this is deemed appropriate by the medical advisor.
6.7. Failure to comply with a compulsory referral to a medical advisor will result in disciplinary action being taken against the Employee and/or will be taken into account in any disciplinary investigation under this policy.
6.8. Where the medical advisor deems it necessary for an Employee to undergo a treatment programme to address a drug or alcohol problem, the Employee will be required to agree in writing to undergo and complete the recommended treatment programme. Failure to seek treatment as advised will result in disciplinary action being taken against the Employee or will be taken into account in any disciplinary investigation under this policy.
6.9. Where a treatment programme has been agreed and the Group is advised by the medical advisor that the Employee is unfit to work and a period of absence from work is appropriate to allow the Employee to undergo the agreed treatment programme, the Group will authorise this temporary absence from work.
6.10. If the Employee qualifies for contractual sick pay under their terms and conditions of employment, then the Employee will be paid contractual sick pay during this period of absence to allow them to undergo the agreed treatment programme.
6.11. This paid leave will be given on the express understanding and written agreement by the Employee that they will pursue the agreed course of action and undergo and complete the necessary treatment programme to overcome their alcohol or drug problem.
6.12. The Employee must agree and comply with a post-treatment return to work plan.
6.12.1. Once an Employee has been certified by the medical advisor (or other doctor) to be fit to return to work after a period of leave to seek treatment for a drug or alcohol problem, they should attend a ‘return to work interview’ with the Group HR Manager and their line manager.
6.12.2. At this return to work interview the Employee should agree a post-treatment return to work plan for re-integration back into the workplace and monitoring their progress going forward. The Employee will be subject to drug and alcohol testing to ensure that they are complying with their return to work plan.
6.12.3. If the Employee fails to comply with their post-treatment return to work plan they will face disciplinary action and/or this failure will be taken into account in any disciplinary investigation under this policy.
6.12.4. If the Employee later relapses and requires further treatment, the Group may not be in a position to endorse further leave (paid or unpaid) or to provide ongoing support to the Employee. The Group therefore reserves the right to take such action as it believes appropriate under its Disciplinary Policy in these circumstances.
7. DISCIPLINARY ACTION UNDER THE DRUGS AND ALCOHOL POLICY
7.1. Discipline of Employees
7.1.1. Breach of this policy will render Employees subject to disciplinary action pursuant to the Group’s Disciplinary Policy.
7.1.2. An Employee will have breached the policy if they:
(i) Fail an alcohol test;
(ii) Test positive for drugs;
(iii) Refuse to undertake a drug and alcohol test;
(iv) Report or try to report for duty when unfit through drugs and/or alcohol;
(v) Consume drugs or alcohol whilst on duty;
(vi) Possess illegal drugs whilst on duty;
(vii) Decline or discontinue an approved course of treatment or rehabilitation for a drug or alcohol problem without good cause; and/or
(viii) Declare a problem with drugs or alcohol after they have been tested under this policy or have been selected for unannounced random testing.
7.2. Discipline of Workers
7.2.1. Any breaches of this policy may result in the information gathered by the Group being shared with the Worker’s employer. The Group reserves the right to remove any
Workers who have failed to comply with this policy from site immediately. In the event that any Worker poses an immediate risk to either themselves or their colleagues and/or there are potential issues of serious misconduct, the Group reserves the right to terminate the services of the Worker immediately and those who employ the Worker will be asked to deal with the matter to the reasonable satisfaction of the Group.
7.2.2. In the event that a Worker breaches this policy the Group will ask them to leave the site. The Group will also prevent the Worker from entering any other Group controlled site until such time as determined by the Group.
7.2.3. The Group will share the Worker’s name with such of its Employees as is necessary to ensure that the Worker does not enter any other Group controlled site.
8. RETENTION OF RECORDS
8.1. We shall securely retain records of positive results of alcohol and drug testing in accordance with our retention policy for disciplinary records. Records of negative results will not be retained.
8.2. Monitoring and Review
8.2.1. We shall monitor the results of alcohol and drug testing to identify trends and patterns in detection. Where the monitoring identifies areas of increased risk, appropriate remedial action will be taken, which may include increasing the amount of random testing undertaken or establishing an enhanced testing regime for particular identified ‘at risk’ groups.
8.2.2. The Group HR Manager, Legal Counsel and the Group SHE Manager shall undertake a review of this policy at least every 2 years to ensure it continues to be effective and suitable.