Workplace drug testing is something that you may come across as an employee in Australia. In this article we look at drug testing policy, and whether you can get in trouble from Immigration if your drug test comes back positive.

Employers and industries have their own policies

How each employer deals with drug test results internally will be guided by their own policies. In some industries, an industry-wide requirement may guide your employer’s policy.

The types of responses that you might encounter can include:

  • counselling
  • education
  • rehabilitation
  • temporary suspension
  • dismissal.

If you are drug tested before you have a job, then it’s possible that you won’t make it through the short-listing process. That, however, is something that you would need to discuss with your potential employer.

Positive tests should be re-tested

Initial drug test results are not valid on their own. If your drug test comes back with a positive result, then your employer really should re-test the same sample.

Testing in Australia is done at accredited laboratories. These labs have very strict standards that guide their methodology and process.

You can read more about National Association of Testing Authorities Australia here.

Your test results are a private matter between you and your employer

The Australian Drug Foundation’s Workplace Services team tells us that your employer has no obligation or right to tell anyone about the results of your drug test. This includes the Department of Immigration and Border Protection, the Police, your partner – or, in fact, anybody.

If your test results are positive, then this issue must be dealt with privately between you and your employer.

Where to go for more information

If you would like more information about drug testing in the workplace, please contact the Australian Drug Foundation »