Drug testing of beneficiaries will come into force next year, with penalties for those who fail tests - including having to reimburse the cost of the test and having welfare payments stopped.
Social Development Minister Paula Bennett announced pre-employment drug testing will take effect from next July and beneficiaries with work expectations will face sanctions if they refuse to apply for drug-tested jobs.
Around 40 per cent of the jobs listed with Work and Income require drug tests and the policy will apply only to those with a work expectation attached to their benefit and only for available work opportunities requiring drug tests.
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