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Employment Law – Drug and Alcohol Testing

Employment Law – Background

Drug and Alcohol Testing should be introduced with consultation in a company policy. The rationale is to prevent or rehab rather than discipline employees. However, employers need to consider the reasonableness of implementing a policy. In addition, employers also need to consider whether it breaches privacy law.

Employment Law – Issues to Consider

In essence:

  • Drug and alcohol testing should be introduced on work, health and safety grounds
  • this is because industrial tribunals have generally determined that testing is an intrusion of individual privacy. Therefore, it can only be justified on work, health and safety grounds
  • an employer has no control over what employees do in their own leisure time. Although conduct that may put an a person at risk or damage the company’s business and reputation can warrant control measures
  • because such a policy is to be considered a workplace health and safety matter, consultation with all staff is required
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