Canadian Mental Health Association, Ontario Division has published a new, free, comprehensive resource to aid employers looking to develop new impairment policies or update current ones in the wake of cannabis legalization in Canada.
Impairment in the workplace: what your organization needs to know identifies priorities for employers when reviewing organizational policies related to impairment in the workplace, including issues related to cannabis, other substance use and prescription medications.
This resource aims to help employers understand their legal requirements under the Ontario Human Rights Code, Smoke-Free Ontario Act, Occupational Health and Safety Act, and their organizations’ collective bargaining agreements, if applicable.
Furthermore, Impairment in the workplace: what your organization needs to know:
- Provides a review of current approaches to responding to impairment in the workplace
- Outlines rights for both employers and employees
- Encourages organizations to develop a comprehensive and non-stigmatizing impairment policy
- Suggests accommodations to ensure a safe workplace for clients, staff, volunteers and peers
“Implementing a policy on impairment, inclusive of workplace implications of cannabis use, is an opportunity to foster a culture that destigmatizes mental health and substance use concerns, and may be the first step in an employee feeling comfortable seeking help,” said CMHA Ontario CEO Camille Quenneville. “We’re pleased to provide a resource that will guide organizations in developing policies that will promote mental health and wellness and ensure workers are safe and appropriately supported.”
This resource’s release coincides with CMHA Ontario’s 2019 workplace conference, Roadmaps to Resiliency: Investing in Mental Wellness for Ontario’s Workplaces, taking place through Tuesday at the Marriot Downtown at CF Toronto Eaton Centre. It was created with input from members of CMHA Ontario’s substance use and addictions advisory committee, including contributions from mental health and addictions care providers, pharmacists and legal experts in employment law, labour law and human rights.
- Approximately 20 per cent of Ontario adults report using cannabis in the past year, with approximately seven per cent consuming cannabis for medical purposes.
- Ninety-three per cent of people who consume cannabis smoke it, while 33 per cent consume it in food.
- Alcohol is the most widely-used substance in Canada. Approximately 77 per cent of Canadians – and 83 per cent of those age 20-24 – consume alcohol.