Bosses use drug tests to avoid redundancy payments

The Guardian reports British bosses use drug tests to sack staff without paying redundancy.

Routine drug testing is common in workplaces where people use dangerous equipment or drive vehicles. However the Guardian says bosses in areas such as finance, banking and retail test workers so they can cut staff numbers without the need for pay-outs.

The Guardian says expanding drug testing into non-traditional areas could be a breach of human rights in the UK. This is also true in New Zealand.

Sacking staff tested in this way would be viewed as unjustifiable by the employment court — especially if the testing was done to avoid paying redundancy.

The practice is nasty because people struggle to find a new job when dismissed for an offence. And the instant nature of such a sacking means their money tap is immediately switched off. Adding this to the loss of a formal notice period and redundancy pay is cruel.

One problem identified in the Guardian story is that cannabis stays detectable for some time after smoking.

See: Rise in use of drug tests to sack staff without redundancy pay -The Guardian.