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Drug and Alcohol Policy

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Section 1 - Policy Statement

Part A - Policy Declaration

(1) This policy sets out the responsibilities of University managers, employees, students, contractors and visitors in relation to alcohol and drug use, including the service of alcohol at University functions.

Part B - Policy Description


(2) The purpose of this policy is to promote responsible attitudes towards the legal consumption of alcohol and drugs and provide a safe environment for all who visit the University. It also provides a framework, consistent with legislative requirements, for the responsible service and consumption of alcohol.


(3) This policy applies to all employees, students, contractors and visitors (including workers as defined in the relevant work, health and safety legislation) to the University.

Part C - Content and Implementation

(4) Members of the University community are expected to display a responsible attitude towards the legal use of drugs and alcohol on University premises and comply with legislative requirements. Work health and safety legislation places a duty of care on employees, students, contractors and visitors to ensure they are not, through the consumption of drugs or alcohol, in such a state that they diminish their ability to perform their duties or endanger their own safety at work or the safety of others.

(5) The University's Code of Conduct applies at University functions, including Christmas parties, planning days, training courses, conferences and field trips, regardless of whether the function is held on campus or off campus.


Responsibilities of Employees, Students, Contractors and Visitors

(6) Employees, students, contractors and visitors must:

  1. not attend the University if they are affected by drugs or alcohol;
  2. not be under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs if they are operating University machinery, handling hazardous chemicals or undertaking hazardous activities;
  3. adhere to the relevant state legal requirements concerning the use of drugs or alcohol if driving in the course of their employment. [The legal blood limit may vary from state to state and may depend on the type of vehicle being driven];
  4. document and report all incidents involving alcohol and drugs on an Incident, Accident and Hazard Report form, as required by work, health and safety legislation;
  5. Employees must advise their supervisor, before commencing work, if they are taking prescription or over-the-counter drugs that may affect:
    1. their ability to perform their duties;
    2. their safety; or
    3. the safety of others.

(7) Employees or visitors working alongside a colleague whose wellbeing or job performance they perceive to be adversely affected by alcohol or drug use (whether legal or illegal) are encouraged to share their concerns with their supervisor and support their colleague by encouraging them to seek appropriate assistance.

Responsibilities of the relevant Head of Work Unit and Supervisors

(8) The relevant Head of Work Unit and supervisors are responsible for:

  1. ensuring that persons under their supervision comply with the Drug and Alcohol Policy;
  2. identifying and addressing safety issues or impaired performance resulting from alcohol or drug use;
  3. directing persons affected by drug or alcohol use to cease work immediately;
  4. taking appropriate action if there is a risk to the wellbeing or welfare of the person or others. Strategies may include:
    1. instructing the person to leave the University and if necessary arranging transportation home for them;
    2. informing the person that their conduct was unsatisfactory and encourage them to seek assistance; and
    3. suggesting the Employee Assistance Program to employees and the University Counselling Service to students as options for assistance.
  5. contacting Campus Security where there is an immediate safety issue.
  6. consulting with their HR Consultant, in the first instance, if repeated incidents involving an employee occur. If the problem persists or if an employee has been encouraged to seek assistance for an alcohol or other drug problem but fails to do so and his or her actions impact on of the safety or enjoyment of other employees or students, the problem should be documented and discussed with the HR Consultant before disciplinary action is initiated.

Responsibilities of Employees who Supervise Students

(9) Employees who supervise students are responsible for:

  1. informing students that they are not to attend the University if they are adversely affected by alcohol or drugs;
  2. confidentially encouraging students to seek assistance if they believe misuse of drugs or alcohol is occurring. Employees are not expected to diagnose or counsel students who appear to be misusing drugs or alcohol. Confidential help is available through the University's Counselling Services; and
  3. immediately informing their Head of Work Unit or nominee where the behaviour of a student is influenced by drug or alcohol use and this behaviour is improper, unsafe or constitutes a risk to themselves or others. Where there is an immediate safety issue, Campus Security should be contacted.

(10) Disciplinary action may be taken if a student fails to seek assistance for an alcohol or other drug problem and their behaviour is improper, unsafe or impacts upon the wellbeing or enjoyment of others.

Use of Drugs on University Premises

(11) Employees, students, contractors and visitors who are using prescription drugs that may affect their performance or safety are required to notify their supervisor so that appropriate accommodations can be considered.

(12) If needles and syringes are used to administer prescription drugs they must be disposed of in one of the appropriate sharps containers provided on University campuses (see Blood-Borne Pathogens Policy).

(13) Illegal drugs are not to be brought onto, consumed or administered on University premises.

Use of Alcohol on University Premises

Non-Licenced Events / Functions

(14) Organisers of University events or functions where alcohol will be consumed but not sold and where no entry fee is charged, such as book launches, art gallery shows etc., must apply for approval to serve alcohol at the event and must ensure the person serving the alcohol has a 'Responsible Service of Alcohol' certificate authorised in the state in which the event or function is being held.

(15) Details of the event must be provided to the relevant Executive Member or their delegate on an Application for Alcohol on University Premises. The completed form, together with details of promotional advertising material if any, are to be provided at least five working days before the event.

(16) Campus Security should be notified in advance of functions that are to be held on campus.

(17) Individuals and organisations sponsoring an event must have precautionary measures in place to ensure alcoholic beverages are not accessible or provided to people who are under age or who appear intoxicated.

(18) A variety of non-alcoholic beverages must be available at an event and be displayed as prominently as the alcoholic beverages.

(19) A reasonable proportion of an event's budget should be allocated to providing a variety of food items at the event.

Other Events, Functions and Field Trips

(20) The responsible consumption of alcohol at events such as working meetings, planning days, celebrations and field trips may only take place with the prior approval of the Head of Work Unit or nominee.

(21) The Head of Work Unit or nominee must monitor the events to ensure the wellbeing or welfare of employees, students, contractors and visitors and take appropriate action where behaviour is improper, unsafe or constitutes a risk to themselves or others.

(22) The University's Code of Conduct imposes a duty of care on members of the University community to ensure the personal use of alcohol does not affect the health, safety or welfare of others.

Licensed University Premises

(23) The bringing, keeping, selling or consuming of alcohol on University premises must be done in accordance with the requirements of the Liquor Act 2007.

(24) Alcohol must be served by people who hold a current 'Responsible Service of Alcohol' certificate and is to be consumed within the designated area. Appropriate standards of conduct are to be maintained, the property and safety of persons protected, noise restrictions observed and littering minimised.

Inappropriate Use of Drugs and Alcohol on University Premises

(25) If an employee affected by drugs or alcohol chooses not to accept treatment, and performance continues to be adversely affected, supervisors should consult with their HR Consultant before following unsatisfactory performance procedures or other appropriate University processes.

(26) If an infringement of this Policy occurs, the incident should be reported on an Incident, Accident & Hazard Report.


(27) Employees and students who believe they have a drug or alcohol problem are encouraged to seek professional assistance and treatment. Assistance for employees is available through the Employee Assistance Program and students may access the University's Counselling Services.

(28) Where employees, students, contractors or visitors are concerned about the welfare of a co-worker or student, they are encouraged to share their concerns with either their supervisor or HR Consultant.

(29) If an employee or student is in need of immediate assistance, first aid should be provided in accordance with the First Aid Policy.