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2018-04-06

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Post seeking drug and alcohol testing across workforce

Random workplace drug and alcohol testing was introduced across Australia Post's heavy vehicle workforce in 2015 to comply with new national road safety legislative and regulatory requirements. 

However, as part of a corporate safety review, Post have flagged their desire to review and expand the policy across the rest of the workforce.

Consideration is in its very early days and the consultation process is yet to commence.

We are not fundamentally opposed to any genuine approach to improving workplace health and safety and, as such, have indicated our willingness to participate in the consultation process to ensure you have a voice in the development of any such future policy. 

However, we do hold firm views that a “one size fits all” approach is not appropriate for Post’s diverse workforce. 

Further, we will strenuously oppose the introduction of any process or policy that seeks merely to exist as a precursor to the disciplinary process. Any approach to workplace drug and alcohol testing must be sensible and truly random by nature, free and independent of any management or HR influence and must exist for the sole purpose of risk and harm reduction effected through education and support mechanisms for workers. 

Since 2015, 10,735 random drug and alcohol tests have been conducted across Australia Post and Startrack Express transport operations. Only 40 of those tests, or 0.37%, have produced a positive result. This impressive statistic tells the story of an overwhelmingly responsible workforce who are aware of their obligations and committed to contributing to a safe workplace. 

However, management have the greatest responsibility to provide a safe workplace and safe equipment and there are many examples of unresolved health and safety issues directly within management control. These matters should be given equal prominence in any safety review and we will be pressing strongly for this to occur. 

We will keep members up to date on this important matter as consultation proceeds.

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