The amendment to the Labour Code, adopted by the Sejm, introduces new regulations concerning the possibility for the employer to check the sobriety of employees. However, a sobriety test of an employee can only be carried out when it is necessary to ensure the protection of life and health.
Employee’s sobriety test — new rules
The amendment to the Labour Code adopted by the Sejm provides that the employer will be authorised to check the sobriety of the employee, but only on the condition that such control is necessary to ensure the protection of life and health of employees, other persons or the protection of property.
The draft law amending the Labour Code provides for two control modes:
Both modes are intended to prevent an employee under the influence of alcohol or a similarly acting substance from performing their duties, i.e. they allow the employer not to admit an intoxicated worker to work.
The new regulations also provide for the possibility of carrying out sobriety checks of employees working under civil law contracts, including contracts of mandate, and employed under B2B contracts.
Sobriety test in regulations or collective labour agreement
Control of employees’ sobriety will have to take place in accordance with the provisions of workplace regulations adopted by the employer or the collective labour agreement. In the absence of both documents, the employer has to prepare a special notice.
During the control, the employer will have to ensure that dignity and other personal interests of the employee are respected.
Methods of employee’s sobriety testing
The sobriety check under the new rules is to be carried out using:
In addition, at the request of the employer or the employee not admitted to work, a sobriety test will be carried out by an authorised law enforcement authority, using:
If the test reveals over 0.2 blood alcohol level, the employer will not admit such an employee to work. The employer must also provide the employee with such information.
If the test shows less than 0.2 blood alcohol level, the employee may perform their duties.
The proposed regulations are to enter into force 14 days after their publication in the Journal of Laws.
Control of employee’s sobriety — current rules
Under the current legislation, the employer may:
Both of these conditions must be met concurrently, which means that now the employer cannot on its own control workers for the presence of alcohol or similarly acting substances in their organisms. It is worth remembering that the obligation to maintain sobriety at work is a fundamental employee’s duty.
Labour law – see how we can help: