FWC holds urine drug testing policy not on “use it or lose it” basis

A Workplace Express article reports that Fair Work Commission has green-lighted company’s plan to re-introduce random urine drug testing following a decade-long hiatus, holding that its policy did not operate on a “use it or lose it” basis.

The Australian Workers Union (AWU) disputed the ability of Rocla Pty ltd (trading as Rocla Pipes and Products) to resume random urine drug testing at its Wodonga Pipe site after the company revised its drug and alcohol policy in March last year [2017].

Rocla Pty Ltd maintained its drug and alcohol policy had allowed for random urine drug testing since 2005, and that while it had stopped collecting random urine sample following a dispute over that element of the policy in 2008, it has never given up its right to proceed.

The AWU maintains it did not object to random drug testing , particularly oral swab drug testing and even urine drug testing for non-random purposes, it believed random urine drug testing was unnecessarily invasive of its members private lives and unjust and unreasonable.

Deputy President Ian Masson agreed that his task was not “not one of determining the competing merits of urine testing verses oral swab testing in the context of Rocla’s business.

“Rather it is to determine whether the relevant clauses in the agreement permit or preclude random urine [drug] testing”.

The deputy president was further “satisfied that the random testing ‘hiatus’ between 2008 and 2017… does not remove or undermine Rocla’s rights to enforce the terms of the agreement”.

“Having regard to the terms of the agreement, Rocla is permitted to require employees… to comply with random urine drug testing provisions in accordance with Rocla Products Drug and Alcohol Policy and Procedures (revision date March 2017).”

Read the full details of the article here.

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