Drugs, Alcohol and other Substances Policy

H&R Block has a duty to ensure that associates are not subject to unnecessary hazards. Part of this “duty of care” relates to taking practical steps to ensure associates are both competent and in a fit state to work safely to minimize risks to themselves and their workmates. H&R Block is committed to ensuring that a safe, healthy and productive workplace is provided for all associates.

Each and every associate has a duty of care to take reasonable steps to ensure their own safety and that of their workmates is not compromised. All associates are legally obligated to be in a fit state for work and to work safely. The use of alcohol, or the use of drugs or other substances, which results in a person not being able to perform their job safely, is a breach of this duty of care.

While H&R Block does not intrude into the private lives of associates, if drugs, alcohol or other substances have a direct impact on an individual’s work performance or on safety standards, it is H&R Block’s responsibility to associates, clients and other people in our workplaces to intervene.

This policy communicates the actions to be taken by H&R Block to ensure that any person working with us, or impacted by our work, does not have their health and safety compromised by another person working under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol or other substances at our workplaces.

It is the responsibility of every Associate to be familiar with and comply with this policy.


This policy applies to all associates of H&R Block including those employed on a permanent, casual, part-time or fixed-term basis. Prohibition of the use of drugs, alcohol and other substances while at work also applies to any contractors engaged by H&R Block.

The policy applies to the use of all drugs and includes prescription or other legal drugs which have the potential to impact upon a person’s ability to safely work.


Non-compliance with the drug, alcohol and other substances policy will be viewed as a serious matter and treated in the same way as any breach of company policy.

Any individual who is adversely affected by alcohol or another drug or substance will not be allowed to work until they are fit to do so (either by doctor’s assessment or passage of time reduces the impairment). If an individual affected by alcohol or other drugs or substances is sent home to recover, they will not be paid for the lost time. Disciplinary action may be taken on return to work.

Where an associate is on prescribed medication that may impair their judgement or performance, they must notify their Manager and may be required to take personal leave.

The Manager will:

a) Act on suspicion of an individual being actively intoxicated (as defined by statute in the relevant jurisdiction) or otherwise affected by drugs, alcohol or other substances in a way that impairs their ability to work effectively and safely (suspicion may be a result of observing impaired coordination, judgement, intellectual capacity or slurred speech, headache, nausea, vomiting, loss of inhibitions or smell of alcohol).


b) Act in response to any accident resulting in damage to property or injury to people that is expected to incur an insurance claim, or a near miss that could have resulted in a death, permanent impairment, personal or property damage.

  1. The Manager will instruct any such person to immediately leave the workplace. That person must comply with the direction given by the Manager. If necessary the Manager shall assist with arrangements to ensure the individual arrives home safely.

    The affected individuals are not to be permitted back into the workplace until they are deemed to be free of any influence or impairment from the effect of drugs, alcohol or other substance.

    No illicit drugs shall be brought into a H&R Block workplace. District Managers and above shall have the discretion to permit limited alcohol consumption for events, functions and the like, but shall at all times maintain responsible service.


    Associates Sign-Off / Policy Familiarity

    All Associates are responsible for knowing and understanding the policy, and being aware of changes as they occur.

    Policy Ownership

    This policy is controlled by the Human Resources Manager, and must be reviewed for currency every 24 months.

    The HR Manager will notify all Associates whenever the policy changes.

    Policy Compliance

    Recruiting Managers are responsible for ensuring Associates are made aware of the policy at the time of joining, and that they understand the consequences of not complying.

    Managers are responsible for the effective implementation of this Policy in their workplaces. Specifically they will:

    Lead by example in the implementation of the policy through demonstrated behaviour.

    Reiterate the recruitment briefing.

    Ensure the policy is applied fairly and consistently across their work group(s).

    Respect the confidentiality of all associate personal issues.

    Ensure timely, appropriate and effective provision of assistance.

    All associates and contractors have a duty of care to take reasonable steps so as not to expose themselves or work colleagues to unnecessary risks. They are required to:

    Present themselves for work in a condition free from the effects of drugs and/or alcohol or other substances.

    Notify their manager/supervisor of any concerns as to the condition of any personnel in their workplace.

    Comply with this policy, including agreeing to leave the workplace if so directed by their supervisor/manager.


    Associate Assistance

    Any associate seeking help in matters to do with drugs and/or alcohol or other substances should be offered professional and confidential assistance through the Employee Assistance Program. The Program can be accessed via a 24 hour, 7 day telephone number 1 800 808 374.

    Associates seeking such help will be provided with appropriate assistance, support and access to relevant programs. The level of assistance provided by H&R Block will be assessed on an individual basis through consultation between the associate, the provider, and the Human Resources Manager.

    H&R Block will ensure that absolute confidentiality is maintained.