What Happens If You Fail A Drug Test At Work?

What Happens If You Fail A Drug Test At Work?

Random drug testing is becoming more commonplace in British businesses.  Employers are well within their rights to drug test staff if they have grounds to suspect substance abuse.

A positive drug test result at work is a serious matter. The good news for you though is that, even if you fail a drugs test at work, this may not result in you being sacked on the spot.

Your Rights As An Employee

The law says that employers can make it mandatory for staff to undergo drugs testing at work if they suspect they are taking illegal substances. However they are required to have the employee’s consent before such screening can be carried out.

Businesses who want to drug test their employees are required to have a formal drugs testing policy in place beforehand. This policy must be clearly communicated to all members of staff.

The company drugs policy should state why the drug screening is taking place and the potential consequences facing an employee if they fail a drug test.

For How Long Drugs Stay in Your Body?

Employers use three types of drug test to screen workers for drugs: urine drug tests, saliva drug tests and hair drug tests.

If you take a drug test at work, you may be asked to give a sample of urine which will then be screened for drugs of abuse. Most drugs are flushed out of the body in days and will not be picked up by a urine drug test after a week or so,

Drugs such as Cocaine and MDMA can be picked up for up to five days by a urine drug test. Cannabis can be detected for longer periods, in some instance up to 30 days after last use.

A saliva drug test is commonly used by employers now as it can determine if an employee is under the influence of drugs at the time of testing. The window of detection with a saliva drug test is much shorter than that of a urine test. 1 to 2 days is normally the longest detection period for a saliva test, for some substances it can be just a few hours.

Another growing trend is for employers to take a sample of your hair for drug testing. Although less common than urine or saliva drug testing, hair drug testing will pick up most substances, including alcohol, for up to 90 days.

Why You Could Be Tested

You could be singled out for testing because your bosses suspect that you might be under the influence of drugs whilst at work. Or you could have been chosen completely randomly for testing.

Random testing is most commonly seen in environments where staff are in critical roles such as vehicle drivers, or people working in the personal care system such as nurses.

Could You Be Sacked if You Fail A Drug Test At Work?

Before taking disciplinary action, Employers will be under a duty to investigate the circumstances fully

If the company investigation shows that a clear rule existed and that a fair process was followed, a worker can expect disciplinary action, including dismissal if a drug test is positive.

Different companies have different policies but generally you will find that being under the influence of drugs, whilst working, constitutes gross misconduct and you will be fired.

In some cases, if it is proved that an employee has a substance abuse problem, the employer may decide that sending them to a specialist for help and assistance is a preferable option.

Best Workplace Drug Testing Kits

cannabis drugs test

Cannabis Drug Test (THC)

Professional cannabis urine drug test kits. These single use cannabis drug test cassettes detect THC in urine at a cut-off of 50 ng/mL. Zoom Testing cannabis drug tests are 99% reliable and give results in less than 5 minutes. This product is used to obtain a visual, qualitative result and ... Read More

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Cocaine Drug Test (COC)

Cocaine Drug Test (COC)

Professional cocaine urine drug test kits. These single use cocaine drug testing cassettes detect COC in urine at a cut-off of 300 ng/mL. Zoom Testing cocaine drug screening tests are 99% reliable and give results in less than 5 minutes. This product is used to obtain a visual, qualitative result ... Read More

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AL7000 Alcohol Breathalyser

AL7000 Alcohol Breathalyser

Alcohol Digital Breathalyzer – Breath Test Breathalyser – AL7000 AlcoDigital This premium EU digital breathalyser is perfect for use in the UK and Europe as it clearly displays the following drink driving limits: England, Wales & Northern Ireland - 0.350mg/l Scotland, Ireland & France - 0.220mg/l For Workplace HSE Screening ... Read More

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10 Panel Drug Test Cup

10 Panel Drug Test with Integrated Cup – Type B

This Multi Drug Test Kit is an 10 drug panel test with integrated cup and temperature test strip. It is ideal for testing for several drugs at once, saving both time and money. This unbranded test is manufactured by Wondfo. It's a great value option. This low cost test kit ... Read More

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12 Panel Urine Drug Test Kit – Type D

12 Panel Urine Drug Test Kit – Type D

12 Panel Urine Drug Test Ideal for Workplace Drug Testing Shows Positive or Negative Results for Each Drug Accuracy level of 99% Includes Alcohol Screen ... Read More

£10.99 £9.49