Drug Testing

The Herald reports:

Beneficiaries who refuse or fail drug tests while applying for jobs will have their welfare cut from mid-2013 under the Government’s next round of welfare reforms.

The National-led Government says there are now no consequences for drug-takers who opted out of job applications when faced with a drug test.

Social Development Minister Paula Bennett told the Herald the new Bill would have new requirements for drug testing, but the finer details were still being finalised.

National’s pre-election policy document said beneficiaries who did not apply for a job because a prospective employer asked them to take a drug test would have their benefit cancelled.

If they took the drug test and failed it, they would also be sanctioned.

Mrs Bennett said the requirements would be introduced to Parliament later this year and were expected to be implemented in July 2013. She expected the rules to apply to anyone on the new Job Seekers benefit.

It will be interesting to see the final details of the policy. If it merely states that if you refuse to apply for a job because of a drug test, then that is fair enough. If all job seekers are expected to be tested regularly, then I’d say that could be pretty intrusive. I would be surprised if it is the latter.

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