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Developing an effective policy

Under New Zealand law, both employers and employees have a duty to ensure their workplace is safe. 

An employer should provide employees with the highest level of protection from risks, as is reasonably practicable. Dangerous behaviour resulting from alcohol or other drug use is a risk. Employees also have a duty to take reasonable care for their own and others' safety. They must comply with any reasonable policy or procedure relating to health and safety, including a policy on alcohol and drugs.

Workplace safety can be improved, and impairment can be more effectively monitored, through good personnel management and being aware of signs and symptoms, while also introducing a proactive, supportive culture around recognising and reporting risks. 

 Core components

Seek legal advice on Employee and Human Rights, and Treaty of Waitangi obligations

Be clear the policies form part of the employment agreement

Develop policies and processes in consultation with affected employees

The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment’s Employment Agreement Builder could help you to implement a drug testing strategy into your employment agreement.

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Drug testing isn't always the answer

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Tips to support employees

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Drug Index

We believe that access to accurate, clear information is essential to reduce drug-related harm. This index provides harm reduction advice for drugs that are common in New Zealand.

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Online support resource if you or someone you care about is struggling with drug use

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Call 0800 787 797

Alcohol and Drug Helpline are available 24/7 for confidential advice, support and guidance

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