This note is not part of the regulations, but is intended to indicate their general effect.
These regulations, which come into force on 15 July 2013, are made under the Social Security Act 1964 (the Act). They relate to a beneficiary's drug testing obligations under section 102B(1) of the Act. Those drug testing obligations are included in, and form part of, each of the following work test obligations of the beneficiary (under the following sections of the Act):
to be available for, and take reasonable steps to obtain, suitable employment (section 102A(1)(a)):
to attend and participate in an interview for any opportunity of suitable employment to which the beneficiary is referred by the chief executive (section 102A(1)(c)):
when required by the chief executive, to participate in or, as the case requires, undertake any of the following activities that the chief executive considers suitable for the beneficiary to improve the beneficiary’s work-readiness or prospects for employment (section 102A(1)(f)(ii) and (iv) respectively):
prescribe a standard for evidential drug tests; and
prescribe a standard for screening drug tests; and
prescribe maximum reimbursement amounts for a screening drug test, an evidential drug test, or both, requested by the employer; and
specify a ground on which the chief executive may be satisfied that a beneficiary has a good and sufficient reason for not complying with a drug testing obligation, for failing to apply for suitable employment that requires candidates to undertake drug tests, or for both.
The standards are prescribed in the manner contemplated by section 22 of the Standards Act 1988. That section authorises regulations referring to or incorporating in whole or in part, and with or without modification, any New Zealand standard relating to goods, services, processes, or practices. The standard prescribed for screening drug tests, for example, includes a modification for cases in which the beneficiary, after having been advised of the consequences of doing so, waives dispatch of the sample to the laboratory. The standards prescribed also identify, as contemplated by the definitions in section 88A of the Act of the terms fail and pass, the minimum levels of 1 of more controlled drugs the presence of which in a person's body, if indicated or detected for evidential purposes by a screening drug test or an evidential drug test, results in the person's failing (or not passing) that drug test. These levels are the cut-offs specified (for a screening drug test) in Table 1 in clause 4.10, and (for an evidential drug test) in Table 2 in clause 5.14, of the Australian/New Zealand Standard AS/NZS 4308:2008—Procedures for specimen collection and the detection and quantitation of drugs of abuse in urine.
The ground specified by these regulations, and that may be a good and sufficient reason for any non-compliance or failure mentioned above, is, in summary, having been identified by a screening process as a person who does or may require, and being a person who has (in any manner) agreed to receive for a recommended and reasonable period, recognised services for drug issue assessment and assistance.
Date of notification in Gazette: 13 June 2013.
These regulations are administered by the Ministry of Social Development.