Your questions answered: Does a positive saliva test provide sufficient evidence of drug use?

By Portner Press on September 27th, 2018
  1. Employee health & wellbeing
  2. Drugs and Alcohol Policy


Currently, our drug testing procedure is as follows:

  1. Initial drug testing by saliva at place of work or following a work-related incident/accident.
  2. Confirmation required by urine testing at reputable testing agency.
  3. If positive, as per our drug and alcohol policy, employee is subject to instant dismissal for serious misconduct.

Our query is, are we able to terminate employment on the initial positive saliva test?


Generally, a saliva test is not adequate to confirm a positive drug test. There may be other factors, such as an employee’s appearance or behaviour that indicate they are under the influence of drugs or alcohol and may justify summary dismissal.

However, you will need to ensure that your drug and alcohol policy permits you to summarily terminate a worker’s employment on this basis. Presently, you would be in breach of the terms of your current policy if you were to dismiss an employee without first requesting a urine test.

Learn more about employee drug and alcohol testing

In our eBook, Drug & Alcohol Testing in the Workplace, we explain exactly what every employer must know about conducting drug and alcohol testing and when and how to test.

Grab your copy today.



Related Articles: