The possession and supply of drugs covered by the Misuse of Drugs Act (1971) is against the law. Accordingly, the University will undertake to deal with any employee who commits such an offence thereby bringing the University into disrepute using the full force of the law. With regards possession and supply, the University will take disciplinary action and refer offences to the Police as well as hand any drugs to the Police. The University may also take action against employees who are involved in illegal drug activities off University premises, if such activity may have an impact on the University, its students or its employees.
The University will try to promote an environment in which the use of illicit drugs is discouraged. Employees who are suffering from substance abuse should feel able to seek help without fear of recrimination. The University recognises that it has a duty of care towards its employees and will therefore provide or signpost employees to health information and support as necessary and appropriate.
The University will consider each case individually on its own merits and will endeavour to act reasonably. It is not the University’s policy to intrude on the privacy of individuals, particularly in health matters, where their condition does not affect their conduct or effectiveness at work. The University must, however, be concerned where health or behaviour impairs the conduct, safety or work performance of its employees and it recognises that the misuse of substances or alcohol dependency may be a cause of such impairment.
The University has an obligation to ensure the health, safety and welfare of its employees who may be exposed to the effects of substance abuse, including alcohol dependency. A suspected problem cannot be ignored; to do so would be risking committing an offence particularly in relation to the Misuse of Drugs Act and the Health & Safety at Work Act.