If your business performs drug tests in the workplace, one of your first and perhaps most important considerations should be obtaining consent from your employees. 

A Drug Test Consent Form is the best way to do this. Essentially, it’s a form that allows employees to explicitly state they consent to the use of their body samples for drug testing. 

In this article, we’ll break down the key aspects of a drug test consent form, as well as the importance of privacy generally in the workplace. 

Why Do I Need A Consent Form?

A Consent Form can be used for a number of things. The main idea is that you want to obtain informed consent from people before you use their data or personal information for anything. 

So, a standard Consent Form would basically provide someone’s informed consent to how you plan to use their data. 

For example, if you’re running an online telehealth business, a majority of your business activities will involve collecting health information. 

Health information is actually an exception to the Privacy Act 1988 (we’ll touch on this again later in this article), so this means you’ll need to comply with Privacy Laws. 

More specifically, you’ll need to disclose to customers details around how you’ll be using their health information, and obtain their consent through a Medical Release Consent Form

In your consent form, you’re likely to cover things like:
– The health information you’re collecting (for example, your Medicare Card details or relevant health history)
– Other parties you’ll be sharing this information with (for example, if you’re sending information to pharmacies)
– Why you’re collecting this information 
– What might happen if you don’t collect this health information

Consent forms are common in any situation where you’re collecting personal information. In some cases, this might be your email address or home address. 

So, how would this play out in the context of performing drug tests in the workplace? Read on to find out more. 

What Is A Drug Test Consent Form?

We spoke about customers consenting to the use of their data in the context of health information, but when it comes to drug testing, it’s actually the employees who need to provide consent. 

This allows the employer to use their body samples for the purposes of determining drug use. As the employer, if you intend on sharing this information with a third party (such as an external party who will assess the samples), then this needs to be disclosed to employees as well. 

The form should also disclose that:

  • You are collecting these samples for drug testing purposes
  • You will be sharing this information with third parties
  • Without this information, you cannot complete the drug testing 
  • The employee can refuse to provide consent 
  • The employee can withdraw consent
  • The employee understands what they are consenting to 
  • There are no factors that would invalidate their consent, such as lack of capacity 

How Else Can I Maintain Privacy In The Workplace?

Consent forms are only one of many ways that you as an employer can maintain privacy and confidentiality in the workplace

For example, if you’re an eCommerce business, you are encouraged to have a Website Privacy Policy to protect both you and your customers. More specifically, a Privacy Policy ensures you’re compliant with the Privacy Act 1988 because you correctly disclose to users how you will be handling their personal information. 

It’s worth noting that the Privacy Act generally only applies to businesses with an annual turnover that exceeds $3 million, however there are some exceptions to this (such as collection of health information, which we covered in our earlier example). So, regardless of whether it applies or not, it’s recommended that you have the right policies and consent forms in place to avoid legal consequences. 

You might also consider inserting Confidentiality Clauses in your contracts with employees, or Non-Disclosure Agreements with contractors and other parties you work with. This ensures that any inside information stays protected and doesn’t risk exposure when you share that information with other people. 

If you want that extra security (which is highly recommended in a digital world), you may want to strengthen your Cyber Security System. For example, it’s worth building a strong Data Breach Response Plan in case of a data breach, which could also affect your customers whose data you collect. 

Where Can I Get A Drug Test Consent Form?

Getting a Drug Test Consent Form is simple with Sprintlaw. We have a Drug Test Consent Form package where we provide you with:

  • A Drug Testing Consent Form in accordance with your requirements
  • A chat with one of our expert lawyers who can advise you on the legal issues that may arise in your specific case
  • A complimentary amendment to the final draft we provide you

Key Takeaways

Like other standard consent forms, a Drug Test Consent Form allows people to provide you with informed consent before you collect and use their personal information. This way, you can ensure you’re compliant with the Privacy Act and other relevant privacy guidelines in Australia. 

If you need a Drug Test Consent Form for your business, or you have any general questions around how your workplace could improve their privacy practices, our team of legal consultants are happy to have a chat with you about your options. 

If you would like a consultation on your options going forward, you can reach us at 1800 730 617 or team@sprintlaw.com.au for a free, no-obligations chat.

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