ILO Management of Alcohol and Drug related issues in the Workplace

March 22, 2016

locating_alcohol_drug_rehab_washingtonThe following constitute the key points in this code of practice: – Alcohol and drug policies and programmes should promote the prevention, reduction and management of alcohol- and drug-related problems in the workplace. This code applies to all types of public and private employment including the informal sector. Legislation and national policy in this field should be determined after consultation with the most representative employers’ and workers’ organizations. – Alcohol- and drug-related problems should be considered as health problems, and therefore should be dealt with, without any discrimination, like any other health problem at work and covered by the health care systems (public or private) as appropriate. – Employers and workers and their representatives should jointly assess the effects of alcohol and drug use in the workplace, and should cooperate in developing a written policy for the enterprise. – Employers, in cooperation with workers and their representatives, should do what is reasonably practicable to identify job situations that contribute to alcohol- and drug-related problems, and take appropriate preventive or remedial action. – The same restrictions or prohibitions with respect to alcohol should apply to both management personnel and workers, so that there is a clear and unambiguous policy. – Information, education and training programmes concerning alcohol and drugs should be undertaken to promote safety and health in the workplace and should be integrated where feasible into broad-based health programmes. – Employers should establish a system to ensure the confidentiality of all information communicated to them concerning alcohol- and drug-related problems. Workers should be informed of exceptions to confidentiality which arise from legal, professional or ethical principles. – Testing of bodily samples for alcohol and drugs in the context of employment involves moral, ethical and legal issues of fundamental importance, requiring a determination of when it is fair and appropriate to conduct such testing. – The stability which ensues from holding a job is frequently an important factor in facilitating recovery from alcohol- and drug-related problems. Therefore, the social partners should acknowledge the special role the workplace may play in assisting individuals with such problems. – Workers who seek treatment and rehabilitation for alcohol- or drug-related problems should not be discriminated against by the employer and should enjoy normal job security and the same opportunities for transfer and advancement as their colleagues. – It should be recognized that the employer has authority to discipline workers for employment-related misconduct associated with alcohol and drugs. However, counselling, treatment and rehabilitation should be preferred to disciplinary action. Should a worker fail to cooperate fully with the treatment programme, the employer may take disciplinary action as considered appropriate. – The employer should adopt the principle of non-discrimination in employment based on previous or current use of alcohol or drugs, in accordance with national law and regulations.