Study Finds Most Employers Don't Allow Recreational Cannabis Use

 

Despite the fact that cannabis has been legal in Canada for nearly a year, according to a report published Thursday (Oct. 3), Canadian workplaces don’t allow employees to use cannabis before, during, or after work.

The report by Ipsos, commissioned by ADP Canada, found that 86 per cent of working Canadians said their workplace doesn’t allow recreational cannabis use, and only eight per cent said their employer permitted cannabis use during the workday.

The study also examined the effect cannabis had on employees in the workplace, and the results were surprising to many.

According to the findings, 75 per cent of working Canadians don’t feel cannabis has had an impact on health and safety incidents, 74 per cent feel it hasn’t impacted workers’ productivity, 71 per cent believe it hasn’t resulted in more frequent absences, and 70 per cent believe it hasn’t had a negative impact on workers’ quality of work.

However, prior to legalization in 2018, many Canadians had different perceptions of the effect cannabis could have on the workplace; previously, 46 per cent of working Canadians believed cannabis would cause a decline in workers’ productivity, and 43 per cent believed there would be a decline in workers’ quality of work. Additionally, 55 per cent expected health and safety incidents to increase, and 40 per cent expected more frequent absences.

Of the eight per cent of Canadians who are permitted to use cannabis during the workday, 64 per cent are using it before work, 47 per cent are using it during work, and 72 per cent are using it after work.

“There was a lot of uncertainty and hype leading up to cannabis legalization last year, but so far, cannabis has not had a noticeable impact on the workplace or on workplace performance,” Hendrik Steenkamp, Director of HR Advisory at ADP Canada, said in a news release.

“Although only a fraction of Canadian workplaces allow cannabis during the workday, it’s important for every organization to develop proper workplace guidelines and policies, as well as provide training to identify and manage impairment,” he added.

Since legalization, roughly half of Canadians’ perception of cannabis has changed; 46 per cent of Canadians say their perception of cannabis has not changed since legalization, and 22 per cent say they have a more positive perception of the drug—27 per cent in Ontario.

The report found that 55 per cent of Canadians don’t expect their employers to change their policies regarding cannabis use. Managers are more likely to expect policy changes—37 per cent—than non-managers—23 per cent.

Alberta and Ontario have the highest number of workers expecting policy changes regarding the consumption of the drug at 35 and 33 per cent respectively.

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