Employers > The Policy

The Policy

If a properly written, unambiguous policy is written AND a testing programme is initiated then undoubtably there will be at some time a "non negative" test result.

This sample would then result in a positive test report generated by an accredited laboratory.

The laboratory result is simply a chemical analysis of the hair, urine, oral fluid or blood submitted to a collector under a controlled set of parameters.

Most companies would refer this result to a medical or toxicological expert  ( frequently called a Medical Review Officer or MRO ) to help rationalise the donor information given at the time of testing with the subsequent laboratory analysis.

For example, did a declared prescription medicine result in the laboratory finding a positive oral fluid cocaine concentration? 


These policies and procedures must comply with the relevant laws in the countries where the programmes are undertaken.

In the EU for example, Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union of December 2000, would have pre-eminence over the UK Health & Safety Act of 1974. In addition, the UK Equalities Act of 2010 impacts the area of workplace drug testing.


What information would the test result indicate?


A simple question with a somewhat complex answer.


If an employee was apparently intoxicated, then most employers would want a simple test to show that the “intoxicating” behaviour was due to chemicals and not the employee having a seizure or a stroke.

If an employee was tested, either at random or in a “for cause” situation, then the ultimate laboratory confirmation would indicate the presence of an intoxicating and/or illicit concentration of a drug or alcohol.

However, what would be the procedure if a random test found a positive indication that an employee took this illegal substance 3 days earlier?

Should the policy refer to an impaired state or simply declare that if a Scheduled drug is found, e.g. Heroin, Cocaine, Cannabis then irrespective of the concentration or level of impairment, then that employee is in breach of company regulations and disciplinary action will be taken?


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