What you can do if you suspect that someone has a substance abuse problem

Line Manager

9. Line Managers are often best placed to spot problems related to substance abuse. If you are the person’s line manager you should discuss it with him or her privately and you should take time to establish whether or not there is a substance abuse problem. If it is confirmed that there is, you should contact the Human Resources Office for tailored, specific advice on how to proceed. A representative from the Human Resources Office will help you to put in place the support mechanisms set out in paragraphs 11 and 12 below. If the individual refuses to participate in this voluntary referral, the representative from the Human Resources Office will take it forward as a compulsory referral as set out in paragraphs 13 to 16 below. The Human Resources Office will let you know what the agreed programme consists of and keep you informed of progress. If the member of staff refuses to acknowledge that they have a problem related to substance abuse but you continue to believe this to be the case, you should seek the advice of the Human Resources Office.

Colleague

10. Colleagues are often the first to suspect that someone may have a problem related to substance abuse. Although there may be an instinctive desire to cover up for a colleague, this does nothing to help them. In some circumstances, you may feel able to discuss the matter with him or her privately. If you do and if the person recognises that they have a substance abuse problem, you should encourage him or her to speak to their line manager who will make arrangements to put in place the support mechanisms set out in paragraphs 10 and 11 below. If he or she does not recognise that there is a problem then you should tell them that you will raise your concerns with their line manager so that help can be arranged.

What do I do if I want to self-refer?

11. If you think that you need help, you should contact your line manager straight away so that they can arrange for you to meet with someone from our Occupational Health Service provider. The purpose of this meeting will be to draw up and agree an assistance programme.

What is an assistance programme?

12. An assistance programme will be tailored to your own individual circumstances but may involve referral to an outside agency. Any absences from work to attend counselling sessions or rehabilitation programmes will be treated as sick absence.

What if I don’t want to self-refer?

13. We will provide the same support and assistance as described in paragraphs 11 and 12 above but this will be done as part of our disciplinary procedures if there are no mitigating circumstances. Any action we take will take account of the Equalities Act 2010.

What if I don’t follow the assistance programme?

14. If you have self-referred and you do not follow the programme, you will be warned under the disciplinary procedures that failure to participate in or to abide by the assistance programme will result in your being subject to an investigation in relation to alleged gross misconduct. If the investigation finds that the allegation against you is well founded, you will be liable to sanctions up to and including dismissal without notice or payment in lieu of notice.

15. If you have been referred on a compulsory basis and you do not follow the programme, you will be subject to an investigation in relation to alleged gross misconduct. If the investigation finds that the allegation against you is well founded, you will be liable to sanctions up to and including dismissal without notice or payment in lieu of notice.

What if I complete the programme and have a relapse?

16. If you do have a relapse, the Human Resources Office will seek medical advice to establish how much more treatment/rehabilitation will be required in order for you to make a full recovery. The Human Resources Office will consider each case on its own merits and will take into consideration the likelihood (based on professional medical advice) that you will make a full recovery.

Where can I find help?

17. You can contact our free and confidential Counselling and Information Service by telephoning 0800 174 319. You will find sources of external information and assistance in the attached Annex.