Employment & labor law

The long-awaited legislative work on the draft law allowing for checks on sobriety of employees by employers has begun

The controversial topic of conducting preventive sobriety checks of employees has been raised many times. The ability to control the psychophysical ability of employees to perform work has a huge practical dimension for some employers. The inability to conduct inspections with reference to the provisions of the GDPR made the need for legislative changes in this area extremely desirable.

Below we present the most important assumptions of the bill prepared by the Government Legislative Center.

Enabling employee sobriety checks – the employer will be able to introduce sobriety checks for employees, if it is necessary to ensure the protection of the life and health of employees or other people or the protection of the employer’s property. Carrying out such control should respect the dignity and other rights of the employee. The control can be performed only with the use of methods that do not require a laboratory test, which consist in determining the presence or absence of alcohol in the employee’s body.

The obligation to regulate the control in internal company regulations – details including the control, such as sobriety testing methods and rules of carrying out the control, determination of the group of employees who may be subject to such control, should be specified in the collective labor agreement or in the work regulations or in the employer’s notice, if the employer is not covered by a collective labor agreement or is not obliged to establish work regulations.

Introducing guarantee standards for the personal rights of an employee – an employee whose inspection indicates a state of alcohol consumption or for which there is a reasonable suspicion that he appeared for work after drinking alcohol, the employer is obliged to prevent him from working. In such a case, the employee will, first of all, be entitled to receive information about the circumstances that constitute the grounds for not allowing him to work. Secondly, the employee will be able to request a sobriety test by an authorized body.

Control of other substances – on the same principles as for sobriety control, the employer will be entitled to control employees for the presence of other substances affecting their ability to perform work.

Possibility of imposing a financial penalty on the employee – the proposed regulations directly stipulate that for failure by an employee to comply with occupational health and safety or fire regulations, leaving work without justification, coming to work after using alcohol or a substance similar to alcohol, or drinking alcohol or taking a drug similar to alcohol at work – the employer will be able to impose a fine on him.

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Author team leader DKP Legal Alicja Myśluk-Landowska
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