Workplace drug testing boom

Workplace drug testing is booming in Australia, even though testing in some workplaces such as offices is irrelevant to workplace safety.

The Age reports that workers may have grounds for legal action if they are forced to take drug tests that have nothing to do with workplace safety.

Dr Ken Pidd of the National Centre for Education on Training and Addiction says his recommendation to anyone who is sacked for a positive drug test is to seek an unfair dismissal claim because they’ve got a 50-50 chance of winning.

Amanda Richards, Assistant General Secretary of the Queensland Council of Unions, says the Queensland union movement is opposed to blanket drug and alcohol testing in the workplace.

She says the union view in relation to drug testing is that it should only be done where a worker has an identified impairment; as in their behaviour is indicating that they may be under the influence of drugs or alcohol.