Alcohol and drugs in the workplace (Payroll Belgium)

Alcohol and drugs in the workplace: discover possible and mandatory measures

On 1 February, the 8th edition of the “Tournée Minérale” kicked off. For one month, participants are encouraged to abstain from alcohol consumption to raise awareness of the numerous benefits that come with it.

We take this opportunity to remind employees of the guidelines regarding the consumption of alcohol and drugs in the workplace as the employer is responsible for health and safety at work.


1.     Preventive Policy regarding the consumption of Alcohol and Drugs  in the Workplace


Any individual may be susceptible to issues related to excessive alcohol and drug consumption. This can have negative repercussions on your business, such as absenteeism, work delays, inconsistent performance, and damage to the company’s brand image, among other things. The consumption of such substances is not merely a matter of the employee’s private life.

As an employer, it is your responsibility to establish a preventive policy regarding alcohol and drugs to proactively address these issues and to intervene promptly when necessary. This obligation is derived from Collective Labor Agreement (CLA) No. 100.

This preventive policy must be incorporated into the working regulations (through the simplified procedure).

It is essential to adapt this to your company’s specific situation, taking into account factors such as the type of business activity, security and vigilance positions, company size, etc. This declaration outlines the main principles and objectives of the alcohol and drug prevention policy.

1.1 It is mandatory to take at least the following measures:


  1. Implement initiatives aimed at raising awareness among employees about the effects of alcohol and drugs consumption;
  2. Inform employees about the company’s preventive policy regarding alcohol and drugs;
  3. Provide information to employees about available support measures.


1.2 What practical measures could you implement?


In a second phase, if the accomplishment of the starting points and objectives determined in the first phase requires it, the employer may take actions such as drafting rules on alcohol in the workplace (including consumption, availability, etc.), establishing procedures in case of dysfunction related to consumption (e.g., organizing screening tests), developing methods to manage work incapacity (e.g., arranging transportation for the individual), and devising assistance measures for employees facing issues with consumption of alcohol and drugs.

Before finalizing this policy, it is ideally recommended to follow the following steps:

  1. Conduct an assessment;
  2. Establish a risk analysis (with the external prevention service);
  3. Determine and implement preventive measures aimed at eliminating and/or reducing the identified risks.

The rules and procedures developed as such must be integrated into the working regulations, thus requiring adherence to the regular procedure for amending the working regulations.


2.     Terminating employment for serious misconduct due to employee intoxication?


Terminating employment for serious misconduct related to employee intoxication is a nuanced matter. The consumption of alcohol in the workplace may not automatically warrant dismissal for serious misconduct; it rather necessitates a careful examination of individual cases.

Factors such as substantial seniority, job responsibilities, and the specific circumstances surrounding the alcohol consumption play a crucial role in determining the appropriate course of action.

Employers should approach such situations with a thoughtful and case-by-case analysis.


To discover more about workplace practices do not hesitate to contact Pro-Pay by filling out the  contact sheet. You can also contact them for information about employment law, social law, payroll law or immigration law.


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