Workplace policies on smoking, drugs and alcohol

Benefits of workplace policies on smoking, drugs and alcohol


Having a clear smoking policy and a drugs and alcohol policy can help managers and employees deal with any issues that may arise. It will also help you meet your legal responsibilities to ensure the health, safety and welfare of all employees.

Smoking policy

In the case of smoking at work, a written policy shows how you are meeting your legal requirements. The main benefit of having a smoking policy is that it makes it clear to both employees and customers what is acceptable behaviour. See workplace smoking policy.

Download guidance including a sample workplace smoking policy (DOC, 32KB).

Drugs and alcohol policy

A drugs and alcohol policy should clearly set out the rules and procedures for dealing with issues relating to drugs and alcohol. In some businesses, this will need to include details of staff training in the correct procedures for handling incidents and dealing with colleagues. The policy must be consistent with other areas of staff guidelines.

Download a sample workplace drugs and alcohol policy (PDF, 114K).

Stricter policies may be necessary in workplaces where there the risks are greater. This could include businesses where workers have responsibility for their own safety and the safety of others.

Download a sample drugs and alcohol policy template (DOC, 16K).


Other benefits of having smoking drugs and alcohol policies include:

  • Employees have clear guidance on what they can and can't do.
  • Employees know what support is available, as well as which disciplinary procedures apply.
  • Managers have clear guidance about the procedures they should follow.
  • Policies raise awareness. They can encourage individuals to take action to correct any problems they have.
  • By reducing problems you can reduce illness and staff turnover and increase productivity.
  • You reduce the risk of your employees driving or operating dangerous equipment while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
  • Policies help you meet your legal responsibilities for health, safety and employee welfare.