Employer rights and non-negative drug test results

Our team works with businesses across a wide range of industries, helping them navigate their HR obligations. Here is a question we recently answered about employer rights and non-negative drug test results.



We require employees to be free from the effects of alcohol and drugs. If an employee provides a non-negative result, what are our rights? Do we have the right to stand them down without pay? Or are we required to stand them down with pay?


If an employee is able to be usefully employed, then generally they cannot be stood down without pay.

It’s important that if your workplace has a no-tolerance policy towards drugs and alcohol, this is outlined in your Fitness for Work [or other relevant] Policy. This includes detailing the consequences should an employee present a non-negative test, such as a send home directive on paid suspension or the choice of personal or annual leave.

Do you need some HR help navigating your employer rights? Get in touch with our teamĀ for a confidential discussion.