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Human Resources

Human Resources

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University introduces Guideline to address cannabis legislation

Friday, October 5, 2018

The federal and provincial Cannabis Acts, which legalize the consumption of recreational cannabis across Canada, will come into force on October 17, 2018.  

The university is committed to providing a safe and secure workplace that supports employee wellbeing, safety, and success.  Every employee at the university has responsibilities under the Occupational Health & Safety Act to work in a safe manner, to be safety conscious at work, to not be impaired at work and to cooperate with the health and safety measures established by the university.

Cannabis use causes impairment and can diminish an employee’s ability to perform assigned duties safely and/or to an acceptable standard. 

Employees must report to the Workplace Fit for Work and remain Fit for Work while in the Workplace.  This means that employees must be able to perform assigned duties safely and to an acceptable standard, without limitation caused by the use of or after-effects of an Impairing Substance(s).

With the introduction of this legislation, the university has developed a Fitness for Work Guideline outlining the responsibilities of employees and managers.  All university employees are required to familiarize themselves with this Guideline.

Employees, employment supervisors, and managers should review the Accommodation of Disabilities in the Workplace Policy and/or contact the Return to Work and Accommodation Unit for assistance with the potential development of an accommodation plan in circumstances where a documented medical condition necessitates use of a medication, including medical cannabis, that impairs an employee’s ability to work safely or to perform the essential functions of their position.

Employees requiring support or assistance in dealing with a substance dependency or addiction are encouraged to seek assistance through their personal healthcare provider, the Employee and Family Assistance Program (EFAP) and/or the Return to Work and Accommodation Unit.

Employment supervisors and managers are encouraged to register through the Learning Catalogue for upcoming information sessions on the impacts of impairment in the workplace, as well as workplace issues associated with the legalization of Cannabis and the use of other impairing substances.  The information sessions will offer practical tools and best practices with respect to these topics, and will identify university resources and support available to them.  These sessions will be delivered by Employee and Labour Relations, Return to Work Services, Faculty Relations, and Environmental Health and Safety, in collaboration with Homewood Health, Queen’s University’s Employee and Family Assistance Program (EFAP) provider.

Employment supervisors and managers may also refer to Homewood Health’s Key Person Advice Line, a confidential resource line available through Queen’s University’s Employee and Family Assistance Program (EFAP) provider.  The Key Person Advice Line allows employment supervisors and managers to speak directly with a clinician for consultation in situations such as preparing for, or debriefing after, an emotional conversation with an employee, strategizing on how to recommend the EFAP program to an employee, and determining appropriate supports from the available EFAP offerings, customized to specific employee needs.  The Key Person Advice Line can be accessed through the general Employee and Family Assistance Program (EFAP) line at 1.800.663.1142 or TTY (Hearing Assistance) 1.888.384.1152.