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Drug and Alcohol Testing At Work – Fair Dismissal


The issue of drug and alcohol testing in the workplace is challenging for employers to enforce however the following case demonstrates that the employer was entitled to dismiss the employee where cannabis was found in his system.

The key to the dismissal being fair was that the employee worked in a safety critical role (rail safety) and was aware that his employer operated a zero tolerance policy to the presence of any drugs or alcohol in an employee’s system.

The case is a reminder to employers to have proper policies and procedures in place in respect of drug and alcohol testing and to ensure that specialised advice is taken in respect of how to carry out these tests. Practically, it is best, where possible, to engage specialised services to carry out any tests to ensure they withstand legal challenge down the road.

A full copy of the decision can be found here.