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Monica Atwal comments in Metro on ‘What happens if your job makes you take a drugs test and you fail?’

01 January 2018 #Employment #Press

It’s the morning after the night before, and you’ve done something that really wasn’t a good idea. And it just so happens that today is the one day in your career that your boss has decided to randomly drug test some of the workers.

Just your luck, right?

Well, it is completely legal for employers to request drugs tests from its staff when it has grounds to suspect substance abuse.

But if you do end up testing positive, the good news is that it does not necessarily mean you will be sacked on the spot.

Why you might be tested

Testing could be completely random, or it could be implemented because bosses suspect a staff member was inebriated while working.

However, drug testing is not yet sophisticated enough to determine when an individual was drunk or high – so it can be hard to prove it happened on company time.

Monica Atwal, managing partner and employment law specialist at Clarkslegal, told ‘Some employers only test if there are other indicators of abuse or influence.

‘But others will randomly test so there is confidence that staff can perform critical roles such as drivers or those providing personal care such as nurses.’

Will you be sacked?

Companies will have differing policies, but there is a good chance that being under the influence on the job constitutes gross misconduct, and you will be sacked.

But it may depend on the type of drug, whether it was taken in or out of the workplace, and your job.

Ms Atwal said: ‘Employers will be under a duty to investigate the circumstances fully before taking disciplinary action.

‘An employee can face disciplinary action including dismissal if a test is positive and the investigation shows there was a clear rule and a fair process was followed.

‘It is highly likely that if you are under the influence at work you will lose your job. It’s a high price to pay for a high.’

Read full article here

Clarkslegal, specialist Employment lawyers in London, Reading and throughout the Thames Valley.
For further information about this or any other Employment matter please contact Clarkslegal's employment team by email at by telephone 020 7539 8000 (London office), 0118 958 5321 (Reading office) or by completing the form on this page.
This information is for guidance purposes only and should not be regarded as a substitute for taking legal advice. Please refer to the full General Notices on our website.

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Monica Atwal

Monica Atwal
Managing Partner

T: 0118 9604 605
M: 0787 659 0971


Employment team
+44 (0)118 958 5321