Hundreds of companies test tens of thousands of employees for drug use every year, while this is not allowed under the privacy law.

Some employers receive help from commercial test companies, according to research by

Investico

commissioned by

De Groene Amsterdammer

and

Trouw,

among others

.

Employees are asked to provide saliva at the door by testing companies or security personnel.

This is then checked for active residues of alcohol or drugs.

A manufacturer of test kits tells investigators that the company sells between 50,000 and 70,000 drug tests every year.

Some of it goes to the police, who are legally allowed to test for drugs.

According to

Trouw

, testing for drugs is only permitted under limited conditions by law.

For example, legally speaking, only drivers, skippers, drivers and pilots may be tested in a work context.

This may only be done by a company doctor and the result is covered by professional secrecy.

Arbofit, a company that helps with workplace addiction, recognizes that employee testing is illegal.

By

sharing

the figures with

Investico

, the company hopes to break the "taboo on testing".

Young workers and labor migrants from Eastern Europe in particular use drugs in the workplace, according to Arbofit.

The hard drug amphetamine (speed) in particular is on the rise in these groups.

Migrants often perform heavy and repetitive work

A sample at a food processing company found that 5 percent of employees had used speed.

6.5 percent tested positive for THC (marijuana) and 2.6 percent had consumed alcohol.

Labor migrants often have to perform repetitive (heavy) work under flexible contracts.

If employees can deliver work faster, they will be rewarded by their Dutch employer - even if this happens under the influence of speed, various migrants tell the researchers.

Some team leaders would be aware of this.

Privacy watchdog Dutch Data Protection Authority (AP) has not received any complaints from employees about the illegal testing practices, but confirms in conversation with the newspaper that commercial testing is prohibited.

At the request of VNO-NCW, the Ministry of Social Affairs is working on broadening the rules.

This may make it possible for companies in the chemical sector to periodically test employees in the future.