If you’re one of the Many Australians that casually use illegal drugs and/or binge drinks, then you may be worried about your private decisions affecting you at work. Legislation around drug usage is complicated and decisions tend to be made on a case to case basis, however often an employer will sack you if you read positive on a drug test. Knowing your rights and responsibilities means ensuring that what you do on the weekends doesn’t affect you at work.
Only Take Drugs Outside Of Work
Taking drugs outside of work is not the concern of your workplace. Your boss can not penalize you for private decisions as long as they are not impacting upon your workplace behaviour. If you take a drug test that reveals you took drugs, but were no longer impaired, then this is not the concern of your employer.
Know the Risks
Know the risks of being affected by drugs at work. This is all dependent on the type of job you have. If you have to drive or operate heavy machinery then even a hangover can be potentially dangerous – if alcohol is still in your system, even small amounts, it can impact upon your ability to perform. If an accident happens you may not be able to receive compensation if it is found you were affected by drugs or alcohol. Know how long the substance you have used will last for, and lean towards precaution.
Know Your Workplace Policy
Different workplaces have different policies, which are often contractually binding with a punishment of dismissal. Know the legal policies around your industry, as well as your specific workplace policy and abide by it.
Have an At Home Test
Owning an at home test means you can test yourself for drug traces before a pre-employment screening or scheduled drug test. Knowing whether or not you have drugs in your system will help you make an informed decision about what to do next. You have the right to refuse a drug test, however consequences may be imposed. You may also wish to purchase a breathalyser which you can use to test whether you are under the legal limit for driving, to avoid fines and criminal conviction on your way to and from work, or workplace penalties and potential criminal charges at work if you are operating heavy machinery.