Cannabis in the Workplace

Canada legalized cannabis on October 17, 2018. This followed the passing of the Safe and Responsible Retailing of Cannabis Act. While cannabis is legal, you are responsible for creating policies to ensure a safe workplace and to remain compliant with legislation.

Impairment at work

The Workplace Safety and Health Regulation for Alcohol and Drug Consumption states that employers must take steps to ensure that workers are not working under the influence of alcohol or drugs that prevent the workers ability to perform work safely.

Some examples of impairment include :

  • Increased interpersonal conflicts.
  • Overreaction to criticism.
  • The appearance of impairment at work.
  • Consistent lateness or absenteeism.
  • Reduced productivity/quality of work.

What employers need to know about cannabis in Manitoba

You have many duties you must meet to stay compliant with regulations for cannabis in the workplace. Chief among these is your duty to a safe and healthy work environment for your workers. Which begins with having a clearly laid out policy regarding cannabis. Your policy should include items such as:

  • Actions to take if an employee contravenes this policy.
  • How to approach suspected or reported allegations of impairment.
  • Recordkeeping, controls, and safety training.

You should also ensure your staff has access to education and resources to stay safe. And any new policies or changes should be communicated to ensure everyone is on the same page in your business.

What does cannabis legalization mean for employers?

To protect your small business, you should have policies and documentation in place. These policies should be in accordance with the Workplace Safety and Health Regulation for Alcohol and Drug Consumption Act. This means writing a clear policy addressing impairment and handling at work. Doing so allows you to manage cannabis in the workplace and keep your staff safe.

When creating this policy WorkSafe Manitoba suggests that you:

  • Do not use a blanket policy.
  • Seek legal counsel when developing the policy.
  • Educate supervisors and workers on the drug and alcohol policy.
  • Accommodate workers who have a disability. This is required by Manitoba’s Human Rights Code.
  • Provide impairment prevention strategies and supports.
  • Regularly evaluate and your drug and alcohol policy to ensure it is working.

If you haven’t already, you should review your workplace policy as soon as you can. They should be revised to meet current standards. They should also clearly outline alcohol, tobacco, and controlled substance use at work.

If you need advice on writing an ironclad policy to protect your staff and your business, call Employer Line’s experts today.

Ask us for help with your cannabis in the workplace policy.

If you are unsure about cannabis in your workplace, Employer Line can help. Our advisors are experts in all employment matters. And our free employer advice line is here with solutions to help. We are here to ensure Manitoba’s employers are always staying compliant with changing workplace laws.

Call us for free at 1 (204) 201-1648