Australia Drug Testing


By Australia Drug Testing / November 10, 2023

By Australia Drug Testing / November 10, 2023

What Happens When Employees Fail a Drug Test

What Happens When Employees Fail a Drug Test

Have you ever wondered what happens when an employee fails a drug test at the workplace? The process can be complex and varies depending on various factors. Understanding the ins and outs of workplace drug testing is important for both employers and employees. So, let’s dive into the details.

Workplace Drug Testing Methods

What Happens When Employees Fail a Drug Test

In today’s workplaces, drug screening is a common practice aimed at ensuring safety and maintaining productivity. Australia Drug Testing provides various drug testing methods, including urine, saliva and alcohol tests. Each method has its advantages and limitations, influencing its suitability for different situations.

Urine tests are the most common due to their cost-effectiveness and ability to detect recent drug use, although they do have specific bathroom requirements.

Saliva tests offer a non-invasive option with quick results and no bathroom requirements. Blood tests provide highly accurate detection of drug use, although invasive and not immediate results. Hair follicle tests can detect drug use over a longer period, making them ideal for identifying chronic drug use.

Breath tests, specifically designed to detect alcohol consumption, are commonly used in industries where alcohol impairment poses a safety risk, such as transportation and heavy machinery operation. These tests measure the concentration of alcohol in the breath and provide immediate results, allowing employers to take prompt action if necessary.

Understanding these drug testing methods empowers employers to choose the most appropriate approach based on their specific needs and circumstances.

Workplace Drug Test Policies

What Happens When Employees Fail a Drug Test

Every workplace should have clear policies regarding drug screening to maintain a safe and productive environment. These policies outline the circumstances under which workplace drug testing may occur. Such situations include pre-employment screening, random testing, blanket testing and testing following workplace incidents.

Employees should be aware of these policies and their rights regarding drug screening. For instance, consent is typically required before subjecting an employee to drug screening, and the process should adhere to legal and ethical guidelines. All employees should be aware of company drug and alcohol drug testing policies.

Employers must communicate the consequences of failing a test. This may include disciplinary action or termination, and the consequences may be dependant on the severity of the situation and the working environment. Some employers may offer rehabilitation programs or counselling for employees who test positive for drugs. Some may have a zero tolerance for drugs and failing a drug test results in immediate termination. Other employers may require the employee go home and until they are able to produce a negative result. The consequences for failing a drug test should be specified in the company policy.

It is important to note, that even with a zero tolerance policy on drug use, any saliva or urine screening with a non-negative result needs to be confirmed by a laboratory. Immediate action for employees obtaining a non-negative result that needs to be confirmed should be outlined in the company policy.

Employee Perspective on Failing a Substance Test

For employees, failing a workplace drug test can have serious implications for their job security and reputation. Upon receiving notification of a positive result, employees may have the opportunity to provide a legitimate medical explanation or contest the results through proper channels.

Its essential for employees to understand their responsibilities and obligations under the company’s drug screening policies. Working closely with human resources and following the established procedures can help reduce the consequences of a failed test.

Refusing to cooperate with the drug screening process can worsen the situation and jeopardise employment status. Therefore, seeking support and guidance from trusted colleagues or counsellors can be beneficial during such challenging times.


Failing a drug test at the workplace can have significant repercussions for both employees and employers. Understanding the various drug testing methods, workplace policies, and employee perspectives is critical for navigating these situations effectively.

By implementing clear and fair workplace drug testing policies, employers can promote a safe and healthy work environment while providing support and resources for employees facing substance abuse issues.

Remember, communication, transparency, and adherence to legal guidelines and company policy are key components of successful workplace drug screening programs. Together, employers and employees can promote a culture of accountability and well-being in the workplace.