Employees are entitled to a healthy and safe working environment. The Working Conditions Act provides for this through regulations and rules that oblige the employer to prevent or limit risks in the field of health and safety. Policy on the use of alcohol, drugs and certain medicines during work is part of occupational health and safety management. The basic principle is that use of alcohol and drugs is not compatible with the execution of activities and that attention is paid to medicine use that may influence performance.
When drawing up the policy, the ‘STECR Werkwijzer Verslaving en Werk’ (STECR Manual on Addiction and Work) was applied. According to the Manual, use of substances can have serious consequences in combination with work. Consider, for example, working with dangerous machines, test set-ups or hazardous substances. As another example, if important (financial) decisions are made by an employee who is under the influence, this may lead to major risks for the organisation and for those directly involved. With this regulation, NWO wants to prevent the negative consequences of alcohol, drugs and medicine use, such as accidents, material and immaterial damage, reduced quality of services, illness and absenteeism.
An ADM policy also has a preventative role. The employer must provide good and safe working conditions. An ADM policy is therefore first and foremost an instrument that contributes to such conditions, in which there is room for supervision of problem cases by the employer, as a result of which harm to the employee and employer is prevented and unsatisfactory performance as the result of an addiction problem is identified at an early stage. As part of this ADM policy, employees should also call their colleagues to account for irresponsible alcohol use during – for example – a drinks party or staff outing.
In short, the policy focuses both on the interests of the individual employee and on the interests of the organisation (economic interests, safety aspects and image), whereby the basic principle is that the greatest possible effort is made to keep the employee at the organisation. For the sake of clarity: the employer is aware of the limited opportunities for monitoring compliance with this policy if employees perform their work outside the field of vision of NWO. In addition, legally establishing drunkenness (by means of breathalyser tests and suchlike) is not within the scope of the employer. The aim of this is policy is therefore to explicitly clarify that the employee himself/herself bears considerable responsibility for compliance with these agreements.
Read more about the Regulation on the use of Alcohol, Drugs and Medicines in IR-15.