Argyll & Bute Council recognises that addiction is a major problem in society and has introduced an Addiction Policy and Procedures in association with the Trade Unions to encourage employees with addiction problems to seek help.  Any addiction, which interferes with a person’s health, social functioning, work capability or conduct is a problem and the Council is anxious to help employees in such circumstances.

The Council’s Addiction Policy and Procedures offers assistance and support to employees who suspect or recognise that they have a problem with any form of addiction e.g. alcohol, drugs, solvent abuse gambling, smoking etc.

The Policy

The Addiction Policy and Procedures has been established to: –

  • Promote a safe, healthy and efficient working environment by preventing and reducing the incidence of addiction related work impairment.
  • Reduce the personal distress of employees with addiction problems.
  • Encourage a positive approach to tackling addiction problems.

Aims of the Policy

  • To alert employees to the risks of addiction.
  • To promote a progressive attitude to overcoming addiction.
  • To encourage employees to seek assistance voluntarily.

To offer referral to the Employee Counselling Service if an employee is subject to disciplinary procedures as a consequence of addiction.

Commitment to Employee

  • The Council’s Addiction Policy and Procedures is applicable to all employees irrespective of the position held and does not discriminate at any level.
  • The Council recognises the employee’s right to privacy and confidentiality at all times when seeking assistance.
  • Leave will be granted if necessary to seek assistance. This will be treated as sick leave within the terms of the appropriate sick pay conditions.
  • Having accepted assistance and the addiction problem being successfully resolved, the employee’s promotional prospects will not be affected.
  • On return to work and on resumption of duties following a period of treatment, the employee will return to his/her job unless it is mutually agreed that a change of job would be beneficial.

Referral Options

Voluntary:  Employee seeks help independently from the Employee Counselling Service or employee seeks assistance from their departmental HR Officer in contacting the Employee Counselling Service.

Direct Referral by  Identification of addiction problem

Management:   by Management – (implementation of disciplinary procedures may be conditional on contact with the Employee Counselling Service for assistance).       


If you think you have an addiction problem or if you are concerned that another person may have an addiction problem and you would like further information and/or help please contact your departmental HR Officer.

You may wish to make contact yourself with the Employee Counselling Service  provided by UNUM, Help@Hand, provides independent, confidential support and information to all employees and eligible family members.

These services are available as:

24/7 free confidential helpline – telephone: 0808 304 3698

The Help@Hand App – total health and wellbeing support

For more information about the Employee Counselling Service, please speak to your departmental HR Officer


Find out more about stopping smoking from NHS Inform