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Alcohol & Drug Misuse

These conditions of service are only applicable for those staff employed at UCL Qatar

Alcohol & Drug Misuse: UCL Qatar

1. Purpose

1.1 This policy sets out the legal position on alcohol and substance misuse for staff working in Qatar. It also outlines the support that is available for employees and the action that will be taken where the law is breached and/or improvements not reached.

1.2 Any action taken in accordance with this procedure will be dealt with in confidence.

2. Scope

2.1 This policy relates to all members of UCL Qatar staff and covers both alcohol and substance misuse, which in the context of this policy includes drug abuse.

3. Qatari Law

3.1 The importation of narcotics or alcohol is forbidden.  All passenger luggage is scanned for contents at the Doha Airport Arrivals Hall. The penalties for possession of or trade in drugs are severe, often resulting in prison sentences. 

3.2 It is a punishable offence to drink alcohol or be drunk in public.  Offenders may incur a prison sentence or deportation.  Alcohol is, however, available at licensed hotel restaurants and bars, and expatriates living in Qatar can obtain alcohol on a permit system. You should not carry alcohol with you, including in your car (except to take it on the day of collection from the warehouse to your home).  

4. Standards

4.1 Members of UCL Qatar staff are expected to behave responsibly at all times and to safeguard their own health & safety and that of those around them. It is the responsibility of members of staff to ensure that their performance at work, or in representing UCL Qatar, is not affected by alcohol consumption or substance misuse.

4.2 Staff must not consume alcohol in the course of the working day or shift and must ensure that their performance is not impaired by alcohol consumed prior to starting work.

4.3 The extent of alcohol and substance misuse generally and the problems to which it gives rise are recognised by UCL Qatar. Alcohol and substance misuse result in costs to the employer and potential risks to employees, students and members of the public and can result in accidents, poor work performance and acts of misconduct. It is in the interests of UCL Qatar and its staff, that employees suffering from illness arising from alcohol dependence and substance misuse are identified and encouraged to seek specialist help as soon as possible.

5. Time off and Pay

5.1 Where an employee is diagnosed as suffering from illness arising from alcohol dependence or substance misuse, time off for recovery will be treated similarly to absence for any other medical condition and will qualify for entitlement under the Sickness Absence Procedure

6. Employee Support and Action

6.1 As soon as an employee is known to be, or considered likely to be, suffering from illness arising from alcohol dependence or substance misuse the HR Director should be contacted. A confidential meeting will be held where options are discussed, including any sources of specialist help. The employee will be entitled to be accompanied by a workplace colleague in any discussions taking place under the auspices of this procedure.

6.2 Where the employee agrees to co-operate in a treatment programme the required improvement in work performance will be outlined in writing, following medical advice. In the event that an employee suffers a relapse after completion of, or during, treatment the case will be considered in light of its individual circumstances.

6.3 Where an employee fails to respond to treatment and conduct or work performance continues to be affected, it will be necessary to consider termination of employment, in line with the Final Review Stage of UCL Qatar Sickness Absence Procedure.

6.4 Alternatively and where appropriate, any entitlement to ill-health retirement should be considered as an option.

7. Disciplinary Action

7.1 The disciplinary procedure will apply in cases where an individual whose conduct or work performance is adversely affected by excessive alcohol intake or substance misuse and (s)he is shown not to be suffering from alcohol dependence or substance addiction.

7.2 Where an employee’s alcohol dependence and/or substance addiction becomes evident in the course of disciplinary proceedings, consideration will be given as to whether it is appropriate to continue with the disciplinary process.

7.3 In the event that an employee who is known to suffer from illness arising from alcohol dependence and/or substance misuse commits a disciplinary offence, account will be taken of the individual’s co-operation in treatment, and any other mitigating factors, when deciding what disciplinary action, if any, should be taken.

7.4 In situations where members of staff are found to have been in possession of illegal substances at work or to have supplied them to others, or be drunk or under the influence of a drug this will be considered gross misconduct and may result in summary dismissal. 

HR Policy and Planning
February 2013