How to carry out drug and alcohol testing of employees
Author: Elaine Ramsay
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- Consider at the outset whether there is a real and reasonable need to implement a drug and alcohol testing policy.
- Carry out an impact assessment weighing up the benefit of such a policy against the negative consequences for employees.
- Comply with the provisions of the General Data Protection Regulation and refer to guidance from the Information Commissioner.
- Ensure that contracts of employment refer to a requirement to undergo drug or alcohol testing.
- Draft a clear drug and alcohol testing policy.
- If operating a "with cause" testing programme, make sure that managers are trained on when employees should be referred for a test.
- Ensure that any random testing of employees is not discriminatory.
- Engage a professional organisation to take and analyse samples from employees.
- If a positive test result is received, consider whether the drug or alcohol issue impacted on the employee's work, other staff or health and safety before reaching any decision on disciplinary action.
- Give due consideration to any possible assistance for an employee with an addiction problem before reaching the decision to dismiss.