Employers given powers to test employees for alcohol

Paweł Supernak/PAP

Polish employers can now check the sobriety of their workers under an amendment to the Labour Code that came into force on Tuesday.

The new law grants employers the powers to test employees for alcohol and similar substances if it is necessary to protect the life and health of workers, other people or property.

Employees who test positive will not be allowed to work, under the new rules.

"These are very important regulations that were created out of concern for maintaining safe and responsible working conditions," Marlena Malag, the labour minister, said.

"If internal regulations provide for preventive sobriety testing, employers will be able to check their employees using a breathalyser. In other cases, such tests will be carried out by the police," she added.

"The same rules will apply in the case of suspected use of narcotic substances," Malag also said.