Many employers adopt workplace drug and alcohol programs in Australia to manage safety risks effectively. Even though workplace testing is not mandatory, employers are legally responsible for creating a safe and healthy working environment. Therefore, drug and alcohol testing is necessary, especially for safety-critical industries like mining, logistics, manufacturing or construction. However effective workplace testing may be, employers should always consider the alcohol and drug testing employees rights. There must be clear communication, collaboration, and consent between employers and employees to administer alcohol and drug tests. If executed without proper procedure, the employer may face legal issues.
What does the alcohol and drug testing employees rights include? An employee has a right to refuse a drug or alcohol test. However, if your employment contract explicitly outlines the need for a drug or alcohol test and you refuse, it can be grounds for dismissal. It can constitute a failure to comply with safety regulations. A comprehensive workplace policy can help implement drug and alcohol testing in the workplace. The employer may request a testing facility to conduct on-site drug and alcohol tests. A drug test often includes getting blood, urine, or saliva samples to screen for illegal substances. On the other hand, employers could use breathalysers to perform breath tests. Devices like BACtrack breathalysers can detect alcohol and estimate blood alcohol content (BAC) through a breath sample.
Alcohol and Drug Testing Employees Rights: Policy Guidelines
The alcohol and drug testing employees rights states that both the employer and employee must formally agree to all policies before testing. The employer must share all details pertaining to the company’s alcohol and drug policy. Also, the policy should be fair and balanced to all. An effective policy outlines the circumstances in which testing can occur, the means of testing (blood/alcohol/saliva, etc.), types of substances, and the consequences for returning a positive result. Additionally, an employee assistance program is essential to help affected workers deal with substance use. The assistance program can offer or provide treatment or rehabilitation for employees. Lastly, the policy should state the conditions enabling the affected employee to return for work. For example, giving a regular breath test through a breathalyser to monitor sobriety, etc.
In conclusion, the alcohol and drug testing employees rights are at the core of any workplace testing program. Employers and employees could also agree to start using BACtrack workplace breathalysers for regular breath tests to improve safety. BACtrack devices are highly accurate breath testing devices less likely to give false-positive results. These devices also use the same sensors you would find in a police officer’s breathalyser.