The workplace presents a vital opportunity to encourage and facilitate health behaviours around alcohol and other substances. The London Healthy Workplace Charter provides a framework for action to help employers build good practice in health and work in their organisation.

The business benefits of having a healthy, fit and committed workforce are widely recognised. These include lower absence rates, fewer accidents, improved productivity, staff who are engaged and committed to the organisation and remain healthy as they grow older. 1

The Charter works by recognising good practice at three tiers: ‘commitment’, ‘achievement’ and ‘excellence’. The standards for alcohol and substance misuse are outlined in Table 12.

Table 12: London Healthy Workplace Charter – alcohol and substance misuse standards 2

Level of Achievement Requirements
Commitment Level A working alcohol and substance misuse policy/statement is in place regarding the use of alcohol and other substances in the workplace that is clear and consistent
Employees are provided with information about the effects of alcohol and substance misuse that is appropriate, acceptable and accessible
Alcohol policy/ statement includes guidelines on the use of alcohol at business functions if relevant to the organisation
Employees are supported in seeking help to treat alcohol or substance misuse issues. This includes providing sources of further information and support that are readily available
Achievement Level Organisational code of conduct and behaviour in relation to alcohol and substances has been well established and well publicised
New employees are made aware of how to access relevant policies, information and support services
Excellence Level Managers at all levels are aware of the link between alcohol, substance misuse and mental health in the workplace and aware of why staff may be reluctant to come forward with related problems. Managers actively promote the use of external help and rehabilitation when approached. Employees are aware of link between alcohol, substance misuse and mental health in the workplace
Staff representatives from various levels of the organisation are involved in the development or review of the policy which addresses alcohol and other substances

References

  1. Greater London Authority, “London Healthy Workforce Chater,” 2015. [Online]. Available: https://www.london.gov.uk/sites/default/files/self-assessment_framework.pdf.
  2. Greater London Authority, “London Healthy Workforce Chater,” 2015. [Online]. Available: https://www.london.gov.uk/sites/default/files/self-assessment_framework.pdf.