Personnel: Drugs

Business, Innovation and Skills written question – answered on 12th November 2010.

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Photo of Jackie Doyle-Price Jackie Doyle-Price Conservative, Thurrock

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what regulations govern the ability of employers to conduct workplace tests for alcohol and drugs on employees.

Photo of Mark Prisk Mark Prisk The Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills

There is no legislation specifically governing the ability of employers in general to conduct alcohol and drug tests on their employees. It is a criminal offence for some workers in certain sectors, such as train drivers for example, to be unfit to work through the use of drink or drugs. Professional associations may also impose sanctions on their members.

Testing for alcohol and drugs cannot be carried out without an employee's consent. When employers collect personal information about their employees through drug or alcohol testing, this will be subject to the Data Protection Act. The Information Commissioner has produced an Employment Practices Code including guidance on alcohol and drug testing in the workplace which can be found at:

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