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 in an unfit state due to having consumed alcohol, or under the influence of illegal drugs or medication that may have an effect on their perception levels
  • 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 plant or vehicles while under the influence of alcohol, illegal drugs or medication.

Everyone engaged by VGC is made aware 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 work with the person to find an appropriate alternative role, until the medication no longer affects their safety or the safety of others. VGC will not use this as a form of discrimination, but safety is our main priority.

You can get advice on prescribed or over-the-counter medication from your pharmacists, or from one of the medical establishments used by VGC for medicals or drug and alcohol testing.

VGC’s screening programme includes procedures to:

  • detect the use of alcohol and drugs by existing and potential employees
  • detect the use of alcohol and/or drugs by anyone involved in a safety critical incident where there are grounds to suspect that their actions or omissions led to the incident
  • detect the use of alcohol and or drugs where abnormal behaviour prompts management intervention (which may include a request for screening).

When you undergo drugs and alcohol testing, you must give the sample collection officer full details of any prescribed or over-the-counter purchased medication before the test. If you fail to do so and the test gives a positive result, telling the officer afterwards 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 anyone working for VGC whose proper performance of their duties 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.

VGC 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 measures the effectiveness of such procedures.

The Act and VGC policy apply to anyone engaged by VGC or working under our management.

Laurence Mckidd, managing director
June 2020