Drug & Alcohol

Contents page

    1. We are committed to ensuring the good health and safety of every employee and visitor to our workplace, to ensuring healthy and safe working conditions, and to the safe operation of all equipment in the workplace. For that reason, we have adopted the following Drug and Alcohol Policy, which prohibits all employees, at all levels, from working or conducting company business under the influence of drugs or alcohol.Drugs means any mind altering or legally controlled substance unless it is prescribed by a doctor and used in accordance with medical directions.Alcohol means any alcoholic drink, spirits, wine or beer.
    2. You are prohibited from:
      1. Working or conducting company business under the influence of drugs or alcohol; or
      2. Using, possessing, distributing or consuming drugs or alcohol on company property during work time; or
      3. Driving a company vehicle under the influence of drugs or alcohol at any time; or
      4. Using or consuming drugs or alcohol when off-duty if it would result in you reporting to work or performing your duties under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
    3. Alcoholic beverages may be served or consumed at social events in designated areas, with prior approval. You must abide by this policy at any social event at which alcoholic beverages are served. You are responsible for ensuring that you remain in a condition to perform your duties and/or respond to an emergency situation.

Responsibility for enforcement

    1. All employees are responsible for ensuring their own compliance with this policy.
    2. If you feel unsafe working with one of your colleagues because you suspect he/she is in breach of this policy, you should refer the matter to your manager or the General Manager.
    3. Managers are expected to monitor their own reports, and to investigate situations that may breach this policy. Appropriate steps should be taken to deal with the employee if the manager:
      1. Observes an employee using drugs or alcohol or finds evidence of usage; or
      2. Detects the odour of alcohol on an employee; or
      3. Suspects an employee is working under the influence of drugs or alcohol (for example through abnormal or erratic behaviour); or
      4. Learns from a reliable or credible source that the employee has consumed drugs or alcohol.
    4. All referrals, suspensions and/or disciplinary action should take place in conjunction with advice from the General Manager.

Employee assistance

    1. We recognise that drug or alcohol dependence is an illness and a major health problem. If you voluntarily wish to seek help then we aim to be sympathetic.
    2. If you think you have a drug or alcohol problem that is affecting your work we encourage you to ask for help from your manager or the General Manager at an early stage (that is, before the problem is the immediate subject of disciplinary action), without fear of reprisal. Discussions will be kept confidential. We will not usually pay for treatment, but we will try to help you resolve your problem, by referring you to appropriate community resources.
    3. At our sole discretion, we may allow you to take unpaid leave to participate in a drug and alcohol rehabilitation or treatment programme. Return to service after successful completion of the course of treatment will depend on our needs at that time and will be on the recommendation of our nominated medical practitioner. You may also be required to complete a course of follow-up treatment. Your job security after returning to work will depend on your work reaching appropriate performance standards.

Drug and alcohol testing

    1. Pre-employment testing
      All applicants for employment must undergo a drug and alcohol screening test before being employed. If an applicant fails the test, he/she may not be considered for appointment or, if the applicant has already been appointed, the employment may be cancelled or terminated.
    2. Testing during employment
      During your employment, we may require you to undergo a drug and alcohol test, to monitor compliance with this policy. We may require you to undergo drug and alcohol testing on any of the following occasions:

      1. If we suspect, on reasonable grounds, that you are working under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
      2. On random occasions, if you are employed in a safety-sensitive position. Please note that random test selection means that some employees may not be picked to be tested at all, some employees may be tested once, and other employees may be tested more than once.
      3. If there is an incident involving potential compromise of health and safety standards. If you are injured in the workplace, this may involve you being tested at the time your injury is treated.
    3. Testing Procedure
      Drug and alcohol testing will be performed at our expense by the New Zealand Drug Detection Agency (NZDDA), or an equivalent provider, or by our nominated registered medical practitioner. Testing will be done in such a way as to respect your privacy and confidentiality.
    4. The test is likely to involve an oral fluid test which, if positive, will be followed up by testing of a urine specimen. If, in the future, less intrusive but equally effective methods of testing become available, we will endeavour to use them.
    5. Before taking the test, you should advise any medication you are currently taking that you think might affect your results.
    6. A copy of the results will be provided to the General Manager, who may then advise your manager of the result. Results may be used in evidence or disclosed in disciplinary or legal proceedings. In all other respects, material and information used or obtained from testing will be kept strictly confidential.
    7. You should note that the test may not measure the degree to which you were under the influence of drugs or alcohol. If a test indicates the presence of drugs or alcohol, then we will presume you were under the influence of drugs or alcohol in breach of this policy.
    8. If you wish to challenge the results of a test and obtain independent confirmation of the result, initially you will be responsible for the cost of the test. If the confirmation test returns negative then we will reimburse you for the cost of the test. If the test remains positive, we will not reimburse you.
    9. Cheating on a drug and alcohol test
      If you cheat when taking a drug and alcohol test, or the person conducting the testing has reasonable grounds to suspect that you have tampered with a specimen, then we may take disciplinary action up to and including dismissal (with or without notice).
    10. Refusal to take a drug and alcohol test
      If you are required to take a drug and alcohol test, and you refuse to do so, you should first explain your refusal. We will consider your explanation. In our sole discretion, if we consider your explanation is unreasonable in the circumstances then we may take disciplinary action up to and including dismissal (with or without notice).

Breach of the drug and alcohol policy

    1. We will enforce this policy strictly. This includes if you consume alcohol at a social event in such a way that it raises health and safety issues in the workplace, contributes to unacceptable job performance or you exhibit unusual job behaviour.
    2. When this policy is breached, but a drug or alcohol abuse problem exists, and the employee is willing to co-operate in referral to an appropriate service and subsequent rehabilitation treatment, we may suspend application of the disciplinary procedure and will endeavour to assist the employee to seek help with their problem. If an employee unreasonably denies having a problem, or rejects assistance, or fails to co-operate in referral or treatment arrangements, or continues to abuse drugs or alcohol, then we are entitled to reactivate the disciplinary procedure.
    3. If you breach this policy, we may:
      1. Send you home on unpaid leave for such period as may be reasonably necessary. This will be at least as long as required for you to recover from the influence of drugs or alcohol, and you may be required to remain away from work until the results of the drug and alcohol test have been received.
        Please note that if you are suspected of being under the influence of drugs or alcohol, you will not be permitted to drive your personal vehicle, or a company vehicle, from our premises. This is both to protect your own personal safety, and the health and safety of others.
      2. Refer you to a suitable rehabilitation treatment service. At our sole discretion we may decide to contribute towards some or all of the costs of that service.
      3. In addition or alternatively, we may take disciplinary action against you up to and including dismissal. The nature and severity of the violation will determine the disciplinary action taken:
        1. Minor first offences may result in extension of a probation period and/or a first written warning and/or referral for substance abuse education/evaluation/treatment.
        2. Repeated or more serious offences may result in extension of a probation period, a final written warning, demotion, referral for substance abuse education/evaluation/treatment, or dismissal from employment (with or without notice).

If you have any queries about this policy’s application please contact the General Manager.