Students Staff
University of Essex

November 24, 2020

Alcohol, Drug and Substance Misuse Policy

Filed under: Advice & Support,People Management — Tags: — Victoria Beckwith @ 11:05 am

In November 2020, our revised Alcohol, Drug and Substance Misuse Policy (formally the Alcohol and Drug Policy) and Manager Guidance were approved by USG. You can find them both on our Staff Directory.

Below are some headline changes:

  • Change of policy name from Alcohol and Drugs Policy to Alcohol, Drugs and Substance Misuse Policy.
  • Support for staff with an alcohol/drug problem to seek help/advice at the earliest opportunity.
  • A strong focus on wellbeing recognising that resilience and mental health are not intrinsic to the individual but are influenced by the surrounding environment.
  • A recognition that there may be moments of transition in people’s lives when difficulties may be experienced.
  • A greater clarity on roles and responsibilities for staff, line managers, colleagues and the wider People & Culture team, and weblinks to both internal and external support services.
  • Manager Guidance to accompany the Policy focusing on supporting line managers to use personal judgement where appropriate to ensure support is compassionate and adaptive to individual situations.

Whilst many people enjoy drinking alcohol socially and in moderation, there is a recognition that alcohol, psychoactive drug and substance misuse contributes to health problems accidents at work, absenteeism, to inefficient working and, in extreme cases, social breakdown.

The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on working life –with many employees experiencing significant changes to their lives and work routines (e.g. home-working and furlough) – has heightened many of the wellbeing risk factors, such as increased emotional pressures and social isolation. It is vital that we create an environment where people feel able to ask for help and confident that they will be supported to get the help they need.

We are committed to creating an enabling environment at the University, in which all our members can thrive, and it is important that you take care of yourselves and look after your physical and emotional wellbeing. Our revised Policy aims to strengthen our commitment to providing a healthy and safe working environment for all.

Please contact your Employee Relations Adviser or Occupational Health if you have further questions about the support available.

You can also download the free Dry January app, which will help you to meet your goals, whether you want to take on Dry January, cut down your drinking, or go totally alcohol-free. You can use this app at any time to understand your drinking patterns.