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Drugs and alcohol policy

Last reviewed on 06 February 2018

Here at the Co-op we want to provide a safe and professional working environment for everyone. So it’s important that all our colleagues, and anyone else working in our premises, are clear about what we expect when it comes to drugs or alcohol at work.

Just so you’re aware, we also have a Drugs and Alcohol Testing Policy which applies if you work in Depot Operations in Logistics, in an E-Store warehouse or if you work in an operational role in Funeralcare or work within the coffin and masonry factories

Crucial bits

Just so everyone’s clear, any breach of this policy may lead to disciplinary action, up to and including summary dismissal.

Coming into work
You mustn’t come into work if you’re under the influence of alcohol, drugs (including prescription medication) or Novel Psychoactive Substances (NPS) to the extent that your judgment, behaviour or ability to carry out your job is affected. If you need to drive for work reasons, of course you must also be within the relevant legal drink drive limit.

If you’ve been prescribed medication that you think might affect your ability to do your job safely and efficiently, talk to your manager about this as soon as you can, and before you start work.

During work
You mustn’t consume alcohol or illegal drugs or abuse any substances (including NPSs and solvents) while you’re working, on Co-op premises or directly outside, or in any vehicle being used for Co-op business.

Work events
If you go to a work event and choose to drink alcohol, we trust you’ll be responsible and remember you should present a professional image at work at all times.

Illegal drugs
You mustn’t be in possession of, sell, or purchase illegal drugs or other substances (including NPS’s and solvents) whilst you’re working, within Co-op premises or directly outside, or in any vehicle being used for Co-op business. If you’re found in possession of illegal drugs whilst at work, we may report this to the police.

Things to think about

If your manager has reasonable grounds to think you’re under the influence of drugs or alcohol whilst you’re at work, they’ll speak to you about the situation. If they think that you’re not in an appropriate condition to work, you’ll be sent home and invited to an investigatory meeting at a later date.

Unless you work in an area where the Testing Policy applies, we won’t test you for the presence of drugs or alcohol but will make a decision about your continued employment based on the evidence we have.

If you need further support

If you have any questions about this policy or if you believe that you have a problem with drug or alcohol abuse or dependency, please speak to your manager. Anything you tell your manager will be kept confidential and won’t be shared with anyone without your permission. If managers need advice they can contact ER Services.

If you need additional support, or you feel like you can’t talk to your manager, remember that we have an Employee Assistance Programme (EAP) who can provide colleagues with support.

You can contact the EAP on 0800 069 8854. It's independent and totally confidential. And there's no charge for Co-op colleagues.

Other sources of support

Alcoholics Anonymous:

Call: 0800 9177 650



Narcotics Anonymous:

Call: 0300 999 1212


FRANK - friendly, confidential advice about drugs:

Call: 0300 123 6600

Text: 82111