Drafting Policies and Procedures

"The best way to predict the future is to create it with sound policies." - Peter Drucker

It’s likely we’ve all been in a situation where someone had a few too many drinks at a work function and behaved improperly.

Some time ago, I found myself in this situation, and my gut at the time was telling me that the incident should have resulted in termination.

But when you just assume everyone knows how to behave, and it's not clearly spelt out in writing, it can be tricky to have a non-emotional, objective conversation about what the consequences should be.

Especially if they are not in writing and understood by all parties in the first place.

In larger businesses, this is less likely to be a problem than, say, in smaller offices, or offices with lots of contractors.

As you may have noticed, this week, I have been getting inspo from colleagues, friends and family; so today’s prompt I have borrowed from my step-daughter Camille, who employed ChatGPT for a first draft workplace alcohol and drug policy.

Today’s Prompt of the Day

Could you please create a drug and alcohol workplace policy that covers behaviour both in the office and at work-related events? In this case, I would like to use this policy for a business in [country/county].

And here is ChatGPT’s response:

Drug and Alcohol Workplace Policy

1. Purpose:

The purpose of this policy is to ensure a safe, healthy, and productive work environment for all employees of [Company Name]. This policy outlines the company's stance on the use of drugs and alcohol in the workplace and during work-related events.

2. Scope:

This policy applies to all employees, contractors, and visitors of [Company Name], both within the office premises and at any work-related events, including but not limited to conferences, training sessions, and company outings.

3. Policy:

a. In the Office:

  • The use, possession, sale, or distribution of illegal drugs within the office premises is strictly prohibited.

  • Employees are expected to report to work fit for duty and free from the effects of drugs or alcohol.

  • The consumption of alcohol during working hours is prohibited unless explicitly permitted by management for special occasions.

  • Prescription and over-the-counter medications are permitted, provided they do not impair the employee's ability to perform their job safely and effectively. Employees are encouraged to notify their supervisor if they believe their medication may affect their work performance.

b. Work-Related Events:

  • Employees are expected to maintain professional behaviour at all work-related events, even if alcohol is available.

  • Excessive consumption of alcohol or any behaviour that disrupts the event or puts others at risk will not be tolerated.

  • Employees are responsible for ensuring they have safe transportation arrangements if they choose to consume alcohol at a work-related event.

4. Testing:

[Company Name] reserves the right to conduct drug and alcohol testing under the following circumstances:

  • As part of the pre-employment screening process.

  • When there is reasonable suspicion that an employee may be under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

  • Following a workplace accident or incident.

  • As part of a random testing program, if implemented.

5. Consequences for Violations:

Violations of this policy may result in disciplinary action, up to and including termination of employment. The specific action taken will depend on the nature and severity of the violation.

6. Assistance Program:

[Company Name] recognizes that drug and alcohol addiction is a health concern. Employees facing challenges with substance abuse are encouraged to seek help. The company may provide resources or referrals to appropriate treatment programs.

7. Review and Updates:

This policy will be reviewed annually to ensure it remains relevant and compliant with Australian laws and regulations.

Note: This is a general template and may need further customisation based on the specific needs and circumstances of your business. It's also recommended to consult with legal counsel to ensure that the policy is compliant with Australian laws and regulations.

Obviously, ChatGPTs advice on consulting with counsel is solid as I followed up with a second prompt, “Is there anything else I might want to include if I were being cautious?” and ChatGPT came up with another five or so bullet points, and I am pretty sure there are more.

But I hope this one inspires you to make a start.

Happy Hunting 🚀