Two-thirds of employees aren’t clear on cannabis rules in the workplace: poll

With the legalization of recreational cannabis use just around the corner, a new Ipsos poll suggests that managers and employees are not on the same page when it comes to their workplace’s policies on the use of recreational cannabis.

Only 18% of working Canadians say the management team at their workplace has communicated clear expectations on the use of recreational cannabis in the workplace.

This leaves two in three (65%) saying that management has not communicated their expectations, and another two in ten (17%) unsure of whether those expectations have been communicated clearly.

On the other side of the office, a majority (55%) of managers indicate that their organization’s employees clearly understand management’s expectations on the use of recreational cannabis in the workplace. Only 21% say their employees do not clearly understand these expectations, while 24% are unsure.

It’s clear that there is a disconnect between management and rank-and-file employees on the policies which govern the use of recreational cannabis in the workplace.

While a majority (70%) of working Canadians say they are aware of their organization’s policies and guidelines on the use of drugs and alcohol in the workplace, managers (75%) are more likely than employees (64%) to be aware of these policies.

Moreover, only one quarter (24%) of working Canadians believe their organization is introducing or revising its workplace polices and guidelines because of the upcoming legalization of recreational cannabis – with managers (36%) being much more likely than employees (13%) to be aware of these new or revised policies.

See also: What the research says: A look at second-hand cannabis smoke

Overall, four in ten (37%) working Canadians say their workplace is not introducing or updating their existing policies, while four in ten (38%) simply don’t know if this is occurring.

The knowledge gap isn’t contained to workplace policies, as only 16% say they’re ‘very familiar’ with the changes to the laws related to the legalization of cannabis for recreational use and where it will be allowed to be consumed.

Most others are only somewhat familiar (52%), not very familiar (24%) or not at all familiar (8%). Managers are more likely to be very familiar than employees (23% vs. 9%).

While most (70%) working Canadians expect that they will not be allowed to use cannabis for recreational purposes during work hours (i.e. lunch, coffee breaks, remote work, etc.) or before going to work, nearly two in ten (17%) indicate that it is a possibility – although their workplace hasn’t indicated one way or the other.

Nearly one in ten (6%) believe that they will indeed be able to use it during work hours or before coming to work – led mostly by managers (10%) more so than employees (2%).

Most working Canadians say they’ll stay away from recreational cannabis around work:

  • Just one in ten (13%) say they’re at least somewhat likely (4% very/9% somewhat) to use cannabis for recreational purposes before going to work (19% of managers vs. 7% of employees)
  • Fewer than one in ten (9%) say they’re at least somewhat likely (4% very/5% somewhat) to use cannabis for recreational purposes during work hours (14% of managers vs. 4% of non-managers).
  • One quarter (26%) say they’re at least somewhat likely (8% very/18% somewhat) to use cannabis for recreational purposes during after-work hours socializing with work colleagues (31% of managers vs. 20% of non-managers).

While relatively few say they’re likely to consume cannabis at or before work, many believe that legalization will have an impact on their workplace in various ways.

The chart below indicates the percentage of working Canadians who believe that legalization will increase, decrease or have no impact on the following things:

These are some of the findings of an Ipsos poll conducted between September 17 and 21, 2018, on behalf of ADP. For this survey, a sample of 1,000 working Canadians (500 of whom are managers, 500 of whom are not, none of whom are self-employed) aged 18+ was interviewed online via the Ipsos I-Say panel and non-panel sources.

The poll is accurate to within ±3.5 percentage points, 19 times out of 20, had all working Canadian adults been polled.

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