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: