Drug & Alcohol Amnesty Periods in your organisation

Medical (Drug & Alcohol) amnesty policies have become an increasingly popular theme in the workplace due to the rise in drug and alcohol misuse and the concern for an organisation’s employee health and wellbeing.


This type of amnesty arrangement would be introduced to help employees recover from any existing drug or alcohol related issues prior to a policy being introduced, without the anxiety of legal or dismissive action occurring. If an organisation dismisses an employee instantly due to a drug & alcohol misuse issue without trying to help them, an employment tribunal may find that the dismissal was unfair.

Companies introducing a drug and alcohol policy would often implement a short-term amnesty period, this can be around 30-90 days. Implementing this encourages employees to come forward and acknowledge they have an issue misusing drugs or alcohol. Studies have found that there are over ½ million (586,780) dependent drinkers in the UK, with only 18% of these have received professional help[1]. The company/organisation would provide that support and help to the employee with the dependency problem wherever possible.

How would the organisation provide support?

The support would be arranged with the business/organisation occupational health provider, who would offer counselling and access to professional guidance and support. The individual’s rehabilitation from drug & alcohol dependency after the initial acknowledgment would be supported by the organisation. Occupational health providers would help facilitate the employees return to work and recovery programme.

Upon the return to work, the employee would be tested on a regular basis with their consent, to confirm that the issue is being correctly managed until it can be confirmed that a successful recovery has been made.

It can be argued that an organisation using this method is enabling Drug and Alcohol misuse, rather than fully prohibiting it in the first instance. However; professional bodies such as the ACMD [2] highlight the increasing problem of misuse and the need for preventative measures, therefore another perspective to view amnesties is the organisation is trying help combat the issue.


Contact us today and speak with our experts who will provide more information on drug & alcohol amnesty periods and the ways in which Randox Testing Services can help your organisation.

E-mail: testingservices@randox.com

Phone: +44 (0) 28 9445 1011

Web: www.randoxtestingservices.com

[1] https://delamere.com/blog/the-uk-drug-and-alcohol-use-survey-2021

[2] https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/drug-misuse-prevention-review/acmd-drug-misuse-prevention-review-accessible#introduction