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Drug and alcohol testing

Posted on: December 18th, 2019 by Ginny Hallam

It’s the season to be jolly! But when employees abuse that right and put colleagues, the business and themselves at risk, you have a duty to investigate and take appropriate action.

We’ve seen a huge increase over the last year in substance and alcohol abuse. Below is our guide to taking the appropriate steps when testing for drugs and alcohol.

Right to a private life: often cited by employees! You won’t breach this right if you can justify the testing in the interests of health, policy of public safety, and you don’t do more than is necessary.

GDPR: make sure you follow the principles by being clear on your aim, by limiting the testing and ensuring the tests are as accurate as possible.

Impact assessments: you’ll need one! It should identify the aim of the testing, who is carrying it out, why it’s necessary, the possible risks associated, whether there is an alternative to testing (and much more!).

Employment contract: it’s always helpful to have a clause confirming you have the right to test. Bear in mind though, this isn’t the perfect defence to claims for breach of data protection regulations and resignations leading to unfair dismissal.

Singling out: it goes without saying that selecting particular individuals without justification could lead to claims for discrimination and resignations leading to unfair dismissal.

You should also ensure you’ve got a robust drug and alcohol policy in place, and always seek advice if you’re unsure on how to handle any issues. Luckily, we can help in both instances! Just get in touch!