We have a zero-tolerance approach to alcohol and drugs.

The VGC Group requires that no one engaged by VGC shall:

  • report or endeavour to report for duty, having consumed alcohol, be under the influence of illegal drugs or medication that may have an effect on their perception levels
  • report for duty in an unfit state due to the use of alcohol, drugs or medication
  • be in possession of drugs of abuse in the work place
  • consume alcohol (except at director approved events) while on duty.
  • consume illegal drugs while on duty
  • attempt to drive or operate either plant or vehicles whilst under the influence of alcohol, illegal drugs or medication

All people engaged by VGC are made aware through the briefing process that they must inform their VGC supervisor or manager if they are taking any prescribed or over-the-counter medication that could affect their safety and or the safety of others.

VGC does not seek to prevent people on medication from working. We will actively look to work with the person find an alternative role until such time as the medication consumption no longer can have an effect on their safety or the safety of others. VGC will not use this as a form of discrimination but safety will be the main priority. Advice on prescribed or over-the-counter medication can be sought through any of the approved medical establishments used by VGC for medicals or drug and alcohol testing. Any people engaged by VGC undergoing drug and alcohol testing are required to give the sample collection officer full details of any prescribed or over-the-counter purchased medication before the test. If they fail to do so and the test gives a positive result, subsequent disclosure will not be considered suitable grounds for appeal.

VGC will not tolerate any departure from these rules. We will take the appropriate disciplinary action in the event of any infringement.


This policy applies to any person engaged by VGC whose proper performance of their duties is or may be impaired as a result of consuming alcohol, use of drugs, use or abuse of any prescribed or over the counter medication or other substances. It is supported by Network Rail’s Rule Book, Railway Group Standard RIS-8070-TOM, LU Standards, Related Codes of Practice, S1552 Contract QUENSH Conditions and VGC’s procedure on drugs and alcohol – 4.SQE.GEN.020.

The VGC Group will take all reasonable steps to ensure that anyone engaged by VGC is made aware of the contents of this policy together with the relevant sections of the Transport and Works Act 1992 and its implications. Furthermore, as a responsible company VGC has procedures to prevent, in so far as is reasonably practicable, an offence under the Act. Our monitoring process is in place to measure the effectiveness of such procedures.

The Act and VGC policy apply to any persons engaged by VGC or working under the management of VGC.

VGC’s screening programme includes procedures to:

  • detect the use of alcohol and drugs by both existing and potential employees
  • detect the use of alcohol and/or drugs by any person(s) involved in a safety critical incident where there are grounds to suspect that the actions or omissions of the person(s) led to the incident
  • detect the use of alcohol and or drugs where abnormalities of behaviour prompt managerial intervention (which may include a request for screening).

Laurence Mckidd, chief executive officer
February 2021

Download a printable copy of our alcohol and drugs policy (122kb pdf).

This policy confirms the commitments of VGC Group and its companies, including VGC Labour Solutions, VGC Projects and VGC Personnel.