Workplace drug testing boom

The Age reports that workplace drug testing is booming in Australia, even though testing in some workplaces such as offices is irrelevant to workplace safety. The Age says 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 told The Age:

“My 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 the claim”.

We spoke to Amanda Richards, Assistant General Secretary of the Queensland Council of Unions, who told us that the Queensland union movement is opposed to blanket drug and alcohol testing in the workplace. Ms Richards said:

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”.

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