Information taken from BITC – Alcohol, Drugs and Tobacco toolkit

Checklist of actions

Step 1: Make a commitment

There is a clear commitment from senior leadership that policies on alcohol, drugs and tobacco are central to the organisation’s approach to health and wellbeing. This commitment is stated in a form that is visible and understandable to all employees. The organisation has appointed a senior member of staff to drive forward this commitment.

Step 2: Build your approach

The senior team understands and acts on all its legal obligations concerning alcohol, drugs and tobacco, and risk management in the workplace The senior team has consulted and included employees at all levels The senior team understands and supports the rights of employees, which are communicated to the workforce The organisation has assessed the health and wellbeing needs of its employees (for example through an anonymous survey), understands where improvements are required and has identified clear objectives for development, along with the business case for doing so.

Step 3: Positive culture

There are effective management standards in place that ensure employees feel supported and valued Employees are encouraged to consider their own use of alcohol and drugs and to use resources to measure if their consumption is risky for their health There is a culture where employees feel comfortable in asking for support, secure in the knowledge their job is not at risk and their employer will help them The organisation ensures that the workplace environment is conducive to promoting healthy behaviours and limiting the potential for it to cause ill-health There is a system in place, such as risk assessments, to minimise stress Social activities, volunteering and out-of-work activities are actively encouraged and supported The organisation provides appropriate communication to keep staff at all levels informed of the approach to wellbeing The organisation has recognised the key role of effective line management. During corporate events the organisation models healthy behaviours.

Step 4: Support and training

The leadership of the organisation ensures that information is freely shared and every employee knows how to access support and who to discuss their needs with Line managers receive training that helps them understand and signpost sources of support for health and wellbeing Support is provided for employees with caring responsibilities for family members who have substance use issues Health and wellbeing is built into induction programmes Performance reviews allow employees to comment on issues that affect their performance and enable training needs to be identified.

Step 5: Providing the right support

Managers are trained and confident in how to recognise problems with alcohol and drugs and handle sensitive conversations The organisation is willing and able to make adjustments to work patterns and structures for anyone experiencing difficulties, to help to keep them in work The organisation provides a confidential support service in-house or externally to individuals who come forward with a problem Ways to contact local alcohol, drug and mental health support services are promoted to employees Staff are made aware of the range of stop smoking support available and are allowed time off without loss of pay to attend local stop smoking services; the same also applies to employees requiring support for alcohol or drug issues

Step 6: Helping people to recover

Employees who experience ill-health and have to take time off work are given appropriate support to help then return when ready; adjustments are made for their successful return to work through regular contact with their manager The organisation is equipped to provide support through such government initiatives as Fit for Work and Access to Work to ensure people who experience ill-health can continue to work successfully

Step 7: Going further

Staff consultations/surveys take place that seek information on the health and wellbeing of staff. The consultations/ surveys should also cover working conditions, communication, work-life balance, perception of drinking culture, staff support and work-related or other causes of stress, with action plans drawn up to address major issues The organisation regularly evaluates its approach to alcohol, drugs and tobacco and identifies areas it can develop in, reporting back on its progress with all employees It also shares its approaches with other organisations to promote best practice and learn ideas for new approaches The organisation evaluates its approach, assessing areas such as absenteeism, productivity, staff morale and disciplinary action