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Substance abuse (2020)

Request

  1. Does this organisation have a substance abuse (e.g. alcohol and controlled drugs) policy for employees?
  2. If so, is this policy communicated to employees prior to employment?
  3. Are any such communications acknowledged in writing by recipients?
  4. Are employees subject to prescribed pre-employment, random or ‘with cause' substance abuse testing?
  5. If so, has anyone either (a) refused to take such a test; or (b) failed such a test in the past 5 years?
  6. If so, what, if any, action was taken as a result?
  7. Without identifying individuals, please indicate if anyone has submitted themselves for employee support in recognition of a dependency issue in line with any substance abuse or other relevant policy in the last 5 years?

 

Response

  1. Does this organisation have a substance abuse (e.g. alcohol and controlled drugs) policy for employees?
    In the first instance, please note that our employees work for the House of Commons Administration in roles such as maintenance, clerks, visitor assistants, catering staff, etc.  MPs and their staff are supported by House staff, but are not employed by the House, so our staff policies do not apply to them.
    The House of Commons holds an alcohol and drug misuse policy, which is contained within Chapter 5 of our Staff Handbook available on our parliamentary pages.
    As the information you request is reasonably accessible to you otherwise than under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOIA), the House is exempting the information under the exemption set out in section 21(1) and (2)(a) of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOIA). This is an absolute exemption and the public interest test does not apply.
  2. If so, is this policy communicated to employees prior to employment?
    and
  3. Are any such communications acknowledged in writing by recipients?
    This information is held by the House of Commons. All employees are directed to read the Staff Handbook during the recruitment process once their employment has been confirmed. The House does not ask the new employees confirm that they have read the Staff Handbook, but it is a condition of employment that all staff abide by House policies.
  4. Are employees subject to prescribed pre-employment, random or ‘with cause' substance abuse testing?
    and
  5. If so, has anyone either (a) refused to take such a test; or (b) failed such a test in the past 5 years?
    and
  6. If so, what, if any, action was taken as a result?
    This information is held by the House of Commons. Staff members of the House of Commons Service are not subject to substance abuse testing.
  7. Without identifying individuals, please indicate if anyone has submitted themselves for employee support in recognition of a dependency issue in line with any substance abuse or other relevant policy in the last 5 years?
    This information is not held by the House of Commons. Whilst any member of House Service staff may self-refer to the Parliamentary Health and Wellbeing Service (PHWS), they will be referred on for specialist support. In any event, a record of the reason a member of staff my self-refer to PHWS is not kept and so cannot be provided in response to your request.