Drug and Alcohol Policy Template NZ: How to Properly Create One
14 August, 2023
Companies or businesses in New Zealand have legal obligations to provide a safe working environment for all employees. A safe workplace means efficiently managing safety risks that may endanger an individual or the general public. Thus, many employers use a drug and alcohol policy template in NZ to create a safety program. To create an effective policy, it must identify the goals and objectives of the organisation and provide clear expectations for acceptable behaviour and consequences of violations.
A drug and alcohol policy is a formal document that serves as a guide for employees to abide by. It is designed to protect the well-being of employees by managing the hazards that may jeopardise their safety. Moreover, the policy must be clear and amenable to all. This article will guide you through the process of creating a comprehensive policy. By the end of this post, you will know what to include and consider based on your company’s needs.
Importance of Creating a Drug and Alcohol Policy Template in NZ
Companies that want to implement workplace testing may start by looking for a drug and alcohol policy template in NZ. It is important to create a reasonable policy to have an informative guide on how everyone should handle various related risks. This aids employers in developing an effective program that is beneficial for the organisation and all employees.
Employers may consult legal experts and health representatives to know what to include in the drug policy. This helps ensure compliance with relevant legislation and regulations. As a result, it mitigates legal issues. Failure to have a policy in place or not effectively enforcing it may result in legal repercussions. In the event of accidents, the company may be deemed liable if it fails to show proof that it has exhausted all means to manage preventable hazards.
Moreover, having a drug and alcohol policy serves as a preventive measure against issues with illegal substances. Typically, it includes the need for testing to detect if employees are working under the influence of drugs and alcohol. By doing so, it effectively reduces the risk of accidents.
Purpose of the Policy
- Promote a safe and healthy work environment.
- Prevent accidents and injuries by identifying individuals with drugs and alcohol in their system.
- Address substance-related issues.
- Ensure employees are able to perform their duties safely and effectively.
- Comply with legal and regulatory requirements related to drug and alcohol use in the workplace.
- Reduce absenteeism and improve overall productivity.
- Protect the assets and reputation of the company.
- Provide support and resources for employees struggling with substance and alcohol abuse.
- Establish clear guidelines and consequences for drug and alcohol use or impairment.
- Deter drug and alcohol use or unsafe behaviours among employees.
- Promote accountability.
Creation Guidelines of a Drug and Alcohol Policy Template in NZ
Referring to a drug and alcohol policy template in NZ is the best way to create an effective program for any organisation. First and foremost, the policy should state the purpose and objectives, emphasising the commitment towards maintaining a safe and healthy workplace. It should also outline the scope, specifying which employees and situations it applies to.
The second is to include a comprehensive list of prohibited substances and define what constitutes drug and alcohol misuse. This can consist of illegal drugs, prescription medications not used as prescribed, and excessive alcohol consumption. It is recommendable to provide examples and clarify the consequences or disciplinary actions for violating the policy.
Furthermore, the policy should outline the procedures for dealing with drug and alcohol-related incidents. This includes a reporting system, investigation processes, and handling of test results. Additionally, it is essential to uphold the confidentiality and privacy rights of employees throughout these processes. Overall, creating a policy template requires careful consideration of state or federal laws and clear communication of expectations to employees.
During policy creation, it must define the key terms related to drugs and alcohol. For example, drug and alcohol misuse refers to inappropriate or excessive use of illicit substances or alcohol. Substance abuse is the habitual use of drugs or alcohol that results in dependency or physical, mental, or psychological harm.
Impairment refers to a decrease in an individual’s ability to think, act, or process information due to substance use. Moreover, testing is the process of detecting drugs and alcohol by examining biological specimens. Having clear definitions ensures that employers and employees are on the same page and can communicate in an effective manner.
Implementation Guidelines of a Drug and Alcohol Policy Template in NZ
Before putting a drug and alcohol policy template in NZ into action, there are several guidelines to follow. Firstly, it is essential to discuss the regulations with employees and other stakeholders to address certain issues before their implementation. Secondly, communicate the policy to all employees through training sessions and other forms of media.
Thirdly, have a final review to ensure the policy is fair and consistent. It should be respective to the rights of all employees and held to the same standards. This means that drug and alcohol testing should be conducted in a non-discriminatory manner. Furthermore, it should specify the types of tests that will be conducted and identify who will conduct them.
In addition, provide details on how and when testing will occur. Lastly, obtain employee consent when the information is properly disseminated. These steps are essential to enable workplace testing when the company deem it necessary. By following these implementation guidelines, employers can effectively enforce the drug and alcohol policy.
Employee Assistance Program (EAP)
An Employee Assistance Program (EAP) is a vital component of drug and alcohol policies. It is an intervention program provided to employees who are struggling with substance abuse and other issues impacting their work performance. It offers a wide array of services ranging from counselling and education to rehabilitation.
Through the EAP, individuals may undergo treatment for substance abuse. It can also provide information, support, and referral services to help manage mental health issues. Therefore, employees can manage their addiction or disorder without fear of losing their jobs. Finally, it offers a confidential environment where employees can freely discuss their concerns.
Creating a drug and alcohol policy template in NZ is the best way to start addressing the issues of substance use and abuse in the workplace. It is a formal document outlining the goals and objectives of an organisation regarding safety. Additionally, it provides a guide on how employees should act to avoid safety risks. For example, a company may enforce zero tolerance for drugs and alcohol. It also includes the testing procedures and the consequences for violating the policy.
A workplace policy must be clear and concise, covering all relevant laws. Therefore, it requires careful consideration to avoid any misunderstandings. For a successful implementation, employers must discuss and communicate the policy to all employees and obtain their consent or agreement. Finally, providing access to various resources through the Employee Assistance Program can be beneficial for an individual who is dealing with substance abuse.