The Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA), 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. According to the CMHA, approximately 20 per cent of Ontario adults report using cannabis in the past year.
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, the resource offers the following:
•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 de-stigmatizes 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.”