Pre-employment drug testing - Information for testing agencies

How we work with testing agencies when a beneficiary is required to take a drug test.


Where a drug test is part of a job application process, any beneficiary we refer to a vacancy has to take and pass that drug test.

We estimate this will be required of around 2,000 beneficiaries a year.

  • If they fail the drug test

    If a beneficiary fails the test (or refuse to take it) without a good reason, in most cases:

    • the first time they do this, they'll have to agree with us to stop using drugs so that they can pass a drug test in the future
    • the second time they do this, they’ll have to agree to take and pass a drug test within 25 working days and provide verification of the passed result to Work and Income.
  • Taking a drug test

    When a beneficiary is required to take and pass a drug test, we will:

    • provide them with a list of testing agencies in their area and the cost of a test
    • confirm with the beneficiary which testing agency they choose to use
    • offer assistance to the beneficiary to help meet the cost of taking the test and explain that this must be repaid from their benefit.


    If assistance is required for the cost of the test, we will pay you on behalf of the beneficiary.

    They will bring a letter to their appointment with you that confirms all of this.

    The result of the drug test must be given to the beneficiary who had the test. You don't have to supply the result to Work and Income.

    Any discrepancies or disputes regarding the result of the drug test remains between you and the beneficiary.

  • Claiming for the cost of the test

    If we agree to pay for the cost of the test on behalf of the beneficiary you will need to send us a claim for the cost. This can be done using the testing agency claim form (tax invoice) below.

    The form asks for information such as:

    • your company details
    • the beneficiary's details, including confirmation of their identity
    • the test result.

    Once the form has been submitted payment will be confirmed and paid to the bank account number given on your claim form, or we'll get in touch with you if we need any further information.

  • Registration of interest: Drug testing for Work and Income beneficiaries with work obligations

    We are seeking registrations of interest from organisations with the capacity and capability to carry out drug tests, in accordance with New Zealand drug testing standard AS/NZS 4308:2008 - Procedures for specimen collection and the detection and quantitation of drugs of abuse in urine, for beneficiaries who are required by Work and Income to pass a drug test in order to be available for suitable work.

    Get a Registration of Interest form

    To register your interest you will need to complete in full the Registration of Interest Form below and submit it to Work and Income.

    Return the form

    The completed form can be scanned and emailed back to us at:

    or posted to:

    • Registration of Interest - Pre-employment Drug Testing
    • Ministry of Social Development
    • PO Box 1556
    • Wellington 6140

    We'll contact you

    Agencies that register their interest will be contacted by Work and Income to:

    • Validate the information submitted in the Registration of Interest Form
    • Provide further detail on the drug testing and claims processes
    • Advise of the outcome of the registration of interest application
    • Provide instructions on how the drug testing agency can register their details on the Family Services Directory to be made available to beneficiaries.

    Please Note:

    Work and Income will not enter into contracts for service with drug testing agencies. As described above, drug tests will be carried out on an as required basis, with beneficiaries selecting the testing agency they will use.

    Work and Income does not guarantee the volume of beneficiaries that will be referred to take a drug test with any testing agency

  • Queries

    Any queries in relation to this Registration of Interest can be directed to: