Nz drug testing laws?

Rigoberto Hayes asked a question: Nz drug testing laws?
Asked By: Rigoberto Hayes
Date created: Sun, May 9, 2021 4:03 PM
Date updated: Mon, Oct 31, 2022 10:39 AM


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New Zealanders can only be randomly drug tested in safety sensitive work environments. There is less clarity about other drug testing but it needs to be in-line with any employment agreement and should be consistent with the organisation's alcohol and other drug policy.

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Generally, an employer may only require employees and other workers to submit to alcohol or drugs tests if this is a condition of their appointment and recorded in the employment agreement or other document. Employees have to follow all legal and reasonable requests from their employer.

We won’t ask for, or expect, mandatory drug testing as this is not a requirement from us or a prescribed requirement in law. We also don’t offer advice about drug testing methods, or about the use of drug testing at work. Things to consider about drug testing. If a PCBU chooses to implement drug testing, there are employment matters you need to think about beforehand.

Drug testing in New Zealand & Your Employment Rights. Employers often say they have to drug test workers because of the Health and Safety in Employment Act 1992, but they must also take into account the Privacy Act 1993, the New Zealand Bill of Rights Act 1990 and the Human Rights Act 1993. Under New Zealand employment law, testing is allowed for:

Employees are entitled to complain to the Privacy Commissioner if drug testing doesn't comply with the privacy principles (in particular, principles 1,3 and 4), and the employee has been adversely affected by this.

This means a blood test that identifies impairing medication or drugs at or above an amount equivalent to the criminal drink driving limit (80mg of alcohol to 100ml of blood) will result in a criminal offence." A variety of drugs will be tested for: THC, methamphetamine, opiates, cocaine, MDMA (ecstacy), and benzodiazepines.

Drug checking is a free service which tests the safety of recreational drugs. It's available in New Zealand from KnowYourStuffNZ, a volunteer organisation which we support. Drug checking is harm reduction.

Visit the New Zealand Legislation website for a full version of the Misuse of Drugs Act 1975 and later amendments. Drug offences. It is an offence under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1975 to use, possess, cultivate or traffic (deal) in illegal drugs. Youth offenders under the age of 17 are not subject to the same penalties as adults (people 17 and over).

Tests and checks. Employers can use tests and checks both before and during employment. Checks can include criminal or credit history, drug and alcohol testing, but must be relevant to the job and/or work place.

Training Schedule for NZQA Unit Standards 25458 & 25511 Workplace Drug Testing / Urine NZQA Course places are limited & are confirmed on a first paid, first confirmed, basis. Attendees to the NZQA Unit Standards course are required to attend the training day with a c opy of the AS/NZS 4308:2008 Drug Testing Standard.

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