As an employer, you have a duty of care in providing a safe workplace for your staff, which includes their physical and mental wellbeing. This means your responsibilities extend from ensuring there is adequate equipment required to complete tasks through to managing and assessment of staff misconduct.
So, if you suspect an employee is using drugs, you are perfectly within your rights to request that they undergo a drug or alcohol test. This is also true if you are looking to introduce drug testing in your workplace for all employees. However, how will your other employees respond and react to this new system? Here, we will discuss what to consider when introducing drug testing to your workplace for the first time.
Drug testing and the law
Workplace drug testing is becoming more commonplace in Australian businesses, with many organisations now requiring mandatory tests every month. For those working in construction, aviation and mining, alcohol and drug testing is regulated.
If you are an employee, you will need justifiable reasons for introducing drug testing.
These could be one of the following:
- To improve workplace productivity
- Disclose health concerns
- For workplace safety
- To maintain employee integrity
Furthermore, you are also required to include parameters in your organisations drug and alcohol policy, which must be implemented and communicated prior to any testing being conducted. Some of these parameters include:
- When the drug test can occur
- The type of drug test that is being administered
- How the results will be used and managed
- How the company will respond to a positive test result
If you act in accordance with your workplace drug and alcohol policy, you will be able to administer drug tests.
How your employees may respond to a drug test
To members of your staff who have never been drug or alcohol tested in a workplace environment, this may be an unusual expectation for them. The best way to combat this – in addition to implementing a workplace drug and alcohol policy – is to cultivate a drug and alcohol-free workplace culture.
There are several ways that you can do this. One is to reiterate the importance of drug testing and the reasons why it is done. Explain that it is not a breach of privacy, but rather an essential way to ensure the workplace remains safe for all and helps deter potentially antisocial behaviours within the business.
Another way is to hold a workshop that details how and when your employees can be tested. This should also include the guaranteed confidentiality of results.
Finally, share copies of your drug and alcohol policy and be clear on what constitutes a breach of the regulations, including clearly communicating the consequences of positive results.
Most importantly, however, there should be significant warning in advance that a testing policy will be coming into effect.
Get reliable drug testing kits for your workplace now
MediNat is the leading provider for drug and alcohol testing programs in Australia. We offer the most comprehensive range of drug testing kits to meet your workplace requirements. Our drug testing kits are manufactured in ISO Certified facilities with full quality control to guarantee accuracy of the drug tests we supply. Our onsite workplace testing – which includes saliva drug test kits, alcohol breathalysers, and urine drug test kits – are carried out by trained members of staff. For more information about our onsite workplace drug and alcohol testing, please contact us on 1300 725 520 for a confidential discussion about your requirements.