Thursday 24 September 2020

Chemicals companies should be allowed to drug test employees, says minister

Do not drink and work Photo:

The Dutch government wants to make it possible for chemicals companies to test their employees for drug and alcohol use.

Social affairs junior minister Tamara van Ark has proposed that privacy rights be waved for more companies where intoxicated workers would cause significant safety risks.

Already, pilots, train drivers and police officers can be checked by their employers.

Van Ark said in a government news statement: ‘Employees working in an organisation under the influence of alcohol or drugs incur safety risks for themselves, their employees and their environment. This kind of behaviour does not belong to the work floor and it is important to take action against it so that everyone can work in safety. This is why I want to make it possible to test for alcohol or drug use in workplaces with specific risk factors.’

The government aims to strengthen prevention, advice and support for employees, but stresses that it is also their own responsibility not to show up under the influence of drugs.

Some companies, such as Nedcar, already reportedly perform such tests but according to the NOS broadcaster, firms that test without a legal basis for doing so could risk fines.

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