The Saskatchewan Government is calling for submissions regarding possible legislative changes to address “impairment” in the workplace.

The Government is seeking the submissions as a result of a 2017 survey surrounding legalization of cannabis, in which a majority of Saskatchewan residents believed that the Government needed to take additional steps to keep workers and workplaces safe.

For the purposes of the consultation, “impairment” means the state of being mentally or physically diminished, weakened or damaged as a result of the consumption of alcohol, legal and illegal drugs (including medications), or fatigue. Impairment causes a significant risk of otherwise preventable workplace injuries.

The consultation may inform legislative amendments which could have significant ramifications on employer practices, policies, liability and workplace safety.

The Government’s Impairment in the Workplace Consultation Paper outlines some potential legislative and non-legislative options such as:

  • Awareness and education initiatives on impairment;
  • Legislative duties on employers to accommodate workers that have disclosed impairment;
  • Legislative duties on employers to develop workplace impairment policies;
  • Legislative duties on employees to disclose impairment; and
  • Legislative guidance on random testing.

Employers are free to provide feedback on the potential options as well as provide additional suggestions.

Employers – along with industry or professional associations – should consider providing submissions to help inform any legislative amendments concerning impairment in the workplace. Employers interested in making submissions should seek legal advice to discuss the legal impact of such submissions.

Written consultation submissions are due by August 31, 2018.