Matters of substance — fairness of dismissal following positive drugs test

The claimant in Kuehne and Nagel Ltd v Cosgrove worked for the employer as a warehouse operative. Her job as an order picker involved driving a vehicle around the warehouse picking up heavy weights. She was asked for her consent to be tested for cannabis use following what she was told was an anonymous tip-off.  She gave her permission, confirming that she was aware of the contents of her employer’s substance misuse policy. The policy contained a list of scenarios, under the heading ‘Drug Tests Results’, that were classified as gross misconduct under the company’s disciplinary procedure. These included a positive drugs screen result.

The claimant’s result tested positive for cannabis and she was summarily dismissed…

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