Policy purpose and objectives
With the increase in the use of and dependency on alcohol and drugs, it has become evident to bring in a new policy to eradicate its ill effects on the employees. As the responsibility of health and wellbeing is also attributed to the workplace and work environment, hence, it becomes the responsibility of the stakeholders and Company officials to take care of their employees’ health and wellbeing . This essay delves deep into one such policy and provides a string critique against it. It considers the Alcohol and Drug Policy of William Day Construction Company and discusses its purpose and objectives, scope and application, roles and responsibilities, confidentiality, policy standards, prevention, self-help, assessment, rehabilitation, aftercare, investigative procedures, searches, consequences of policy violation, hosting social functions and policy evaluation .
Drugs and alcohol find their usage in the daily lives of numerous people, and it also has a long history. Its usage has been increasing day by day, especially among the younger population. Hence, it is necessary to bar them from irresponsible usage like excessive consumption or consumption during working hours. As the workplace is often considered as a mirror of society, restriction of these elements is necessary to ensure that it does not encourage other people who are not addicts. Alcohol and Drug policy of William Day Construction promotes health and wellbeing of its workers and emphasizes on establishing and supporting the ideas it believes in.
The policy applies to all employees and contract workers as well as the management while they are engaged at work on the Company worksites or premises. It is also applicable to the agents and sub-contractors while they are working at the Company worksites. The policy will also be enforced on employees while they are working with Company equipment and vehicles.
The implementation and enforcement of the policy should be done responsibly by-
- Employees- They are should follow the guidelines, encourage their co-workers to do the same and cooperate with the Company officials in any investigation regarding violation of the policy.
Recommendation- Every employee should not be judged and tested randomly unless their job gets hampered because it can create a sense of distrust among them .
- Supervisors- Monitoring proper implementation of the policy and its compliance by the employees, taking appropriate steps in case of its violation and guiding the employees who have drinking problems.
Recommendation- They should create a positive work environment for the employees .
- The Alcohol and Drug Program Administrator- Ensuring effective implementation of the policy, supporting the supervisors and employees who require help and delivering supervisor training and employee education programs.
Recommendation- These programs should be designed both for awareness and prevention of addiction .
- The Resource Group- Helping in management of the policy.
Confidentiality is to be maintained at all times except at times of need when limited information are required to be disclosed.
Recommendation- As it is a sensitive issue, anonymity must be maintained .
- Mood altering substance- A product, other than drugs and alcohol, used illegally or legally by employees that results into their physical or cognitive limitations and which negatively impact employee performance at work are known as mood altering substances. For example, synthetic marijuana, doda, aerosols, inhaled products, oils and creams and consumables.
- Drug Paraphernalia- It refers to a personal property associated with drug use or substance use, except the devices used for medication administration that is legally prescribed.
- Substance Abuse Professional- It refers to a professional who has adequate clinical experience and knowledge for the diagnosis and also the treatment of disorders related to drug and alcohol use.
The policy standards to reduce drug and alcohol use are-
- Mood altering substances, illicit drugs and alcohol are completely prohibited in any form like cultivation, possession, use, offering or sale, distribution and manufacture.
- Drug paraphernalia are also prohibited.
- The Company bans its usage for employees when they are on duty.
- Some medications are of major concern that causes inhibition in an employee’s ability to perform his duties. Hence, intentional misuse of such medications is prohibited by the Company.
- For employees who are in need of medications of major concern, are advised to act responsibly.
Recommendation- Policy should also include heavy penalties and employment termination to prohibit drug use .
The Company ensures prevention of illicit drug and alcohol use by making sure that the Company employees are complying to the policy and guidelines at all times. This policy also encourages employees to come forward with their weaknesses and deal with them upfront.
Recommendation- The supervisors should act as their advocate and help them recover .
The Company encourages employees to access assistance in case of any drug related problems. As per the Company policy, they are advised to disclose their issue to their supervisor or the management or the Resource Department, who will in turn refer him/her to the Substance Abuse Professional for assessment of the problem. They would also provide appropriate treatment and aftercare programs to help the person in need.
Recommendation- The policy should may also include the engagement of family members of employees to help them recover .
As per the policy, a person may confront their dependency on illicit drugs and alcohol and ask for help from the Company officials, so that they can extend their arms to help them. The affected employee can then, be provided appropriate treatment and rehabilitation. As a part of the aftercare protocol, the employee receiving treatment through the Company is required to comply by the policy and terms of the rehabilitation and aftercare program, so that the intervention proves to be effective.
Recommendation- Rehabilitation program should be person-centered through confidential meetings .
The investigative procedures would be applied in-
- Unfit for duty situations
- Alcohol and Drug testing
- Possession of drugs or alcohol
- Loss of license, applicable to the drivers of any vehicle operated under the Company.
Recommendation- These procedures should be mainly applied in case of performance deficiencies to improve them .
Drug testing is to be done through the collection of specimens by trained collection agents. Alcohol tests would include breath analysis while drug tests would include urinalysis and oral fluid collection. POCT would be used for testing cannabinoids. Laboratory tests, if required, will be done through gas chromatography or mass spectrometry. Positive results would be reviewed by the Medical Review Officer, who would discuss the findings with the employee to determine the legitimacy of drug use.
Recommendation- False positive or false negative results must be avoided to retain employee faith. In case of confusion, lab authorities must be consulted .
The consequences include removal from the position or making an agreement with the Company to engage in treatment and rehabilitation programs before joining as an employee of the Company. Any compliance failure would lead to termination of the employee from the Company.
Recommendation- Heavy penalties should also be imposed on the employee .
In social functions, alcohol may be consumed responsibly to the recommended limit but the use of cannabis is prohibited completely.
Policy evaluation are to be done by the Company stakeholders, supervisors, the Alcohol Drug and Program Administrator and Resource Groups.
Recommendation- Constant improvement and upgradation of the policy must be recommended by them.
The Drug and Alcohol Policy is one of the important policies that demonstrates a Company’s attitude towards its employees. Any Company having the drug and alcohol policy can be considered as one acting in favour of the employees and is taking an initiative to look after its employees. The Company employees, supervisors, the Drug and Program Administrator and the Resource Group are responsible for implementation of the policy throughout the organization. It is aimed at preventing drug and alcohol use among employees by ensuring that they follow the policy. It also aims at helping out those in need and who confronts their addiction. The Company encourages self-help by allowing them to come forward with their problems on drug and alcohol dependency. It also provides treatment and rehabilitation to the addicts. Hence, this policy can be considered as one acting in favour of its employees.
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