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Wednesday, 23 June 2021

Smoking up in the office will now cost you your job

Public-sector employees can now be automatically dismissed if they test positive for illegal substances after President Abdel Fattah El Sisi ratified an amendment to the criminal code, Youm7 reports, carrying a copy of the decision published in the Official Gazette on 16 June. The law — approved by the House of Representatives last month — allows government authorities to randomly test employees, who will be suspended for three months and have half of their pay docked should they test positive. Failing multiple tests could result in employees being handed jail terms and fines of up to EGP 200k.

The recent spate of rail accidents seems to have motivated the legislation: The amendment comes a few months after the fatal train crash in Sohag, which the Public Prosecution partly blamed on intoxicated employees. The accident, which killed 20 people and injured 200 others, was said to have been caused by the train driver, his assistant and a control tower guard, the latter two are alleged to have been under the influence of narcotics. And following another crash in Qalyubia that occurred just a few weeks later, noises were being made about the need to test railway workers more regularly for use of narcotics.

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