Walkabout's new drug policy

Posted on 4 June, 2024 in Social Community and Disability Sector  

We were alerted by members of Walkabout’s intention to introduce a new scheduled drug testing policy, which they say is due to wanting to grow the business and obtaining NAID (National Association of Information Destruction) accreditation.

HACSU requested a meeting with Possability management to discuss the new policy and address a number of concerns such as: 

- If an employee produced a “non-negative” result, the requirement of the employee to use either their Personal Leave, Annual Leave or Leave Without Pay until the results were received from the lab - and the leave only being rectified in the following pay if the results were incorrect.

- We questioned how the test could differentiate between recreational drugs and over the counter medications such as Sudafed - which contains pseudoephedrine - a drug that is on the list to be tested for. They advised it would be tested for the different levels as over the counter medications doses have a lower level of pseudoephedrine.

We alerted Possability they cannot stand someone down without pay under The Fair Work Act, and to do so would expose themselves to Civil Penalties under the Act.

After a few meetings and back and forth emails to address issues we raised in the draft, especially regarding their stance on standing down, it appeared Possability were not prepared to pay employees while stood down as an option. When we heard that they put the policy into effect, we reached out to them again.

What we can now confirm is that employees would be stood aside on full pay following a first non-negative result and would continue to be stood aside on full pay until they were notified of a second non-negative result. On such event, they would be found unfit to work and could apply for any form of paid leave entitlement until such time as they are able to provide a certificate of clearance.

If you’ve got questions on this or need more information you can contact me via HACSUassist on 1300 880 032 or on [email protected].
For more information about this or any other industrial matter, members should contact HACSUassist on 1300 880 032 or email [email protected] or complete our online contact form

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