Alcohol and Drugs at work
Alcohol and drugs have an impact on your ability to work safely and correctly. Under the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974, your employer has a duty to ensure that the working environment is free from the inappropriate use of substances and all employees are able to carry out their duties in a safe and efficient manner to protect the safety of the workplace. This includes ensuring that no employees are working under the influence of alcohol and drugs. If you are found in possession of controlled substances in contravention of any of the laws listed below, it could still affect your job, if your employer decides that your actions outside of work are sufficiently serious to justify disciplinary action. This would also apply to being under the influence of alcohol outside of work.
Employers have different approaches to alcohol and drug dependency. It can be approached as a disciplinary, health or performance issue or a combination. Remember that your employer is exactly that. Your employer. Not your counsellor or your friend. As such, your Employer will be more interested in your performance or behaviour, rather than the cause of it, and so it is your performance or behaviour that can get you fired from your job. Depending on the behaviour or performance issue that highlights the dependency problem, your Employer may choose to initially treat it as a health problem requiring a capability process, which can be escalated to a disciplinary if the problem persists. If it is a serious performance or behaviour issue, your Employer can go straight to the disciplinary process and you could lose your job.