What you need to know about recreational
marijuana in the workplace

The pending legalization of recreational marijuana in Canada creates an issue as to whether, how and to what extent marijuana possession and use can be tolerated in the workplace or at work-related events. Employers should take a proactive approach in dealing with this changing landscape and do so in a way they can ensure the health and safety of their workers.

To this end, we have recently added a new topic, Recreational Marijuana in the Workplace, in The Human Resources Advisor™ (HRA) that outlines the law on both the federal and provincial level, some key elements to consider and action items to help manage the use of recreational marijuana in the workplace and respond to situations of impairment.

Subscribers can read more on this topic in the discussion on Alcohol/Drug Abuse and Testing under Health and Safety. Not an HRA subscriber? Click here to request a 30-day trial.


New and updated HR policies for legal compliance

Below are the most recent updates to Human Resources PolicyPro® (HRPP):


The Ontario Employment Standards Act (ESA) was significantly amended by the Fair Workplaces, Better Jobs Act, 2017 (Bill 148).

Most of the affected polices were updated or added in the previous two HRPP updates. However, due to new ministry guidelines and regulations (not previously applied) and further legal review, the following policies in the Ontario edition of Human Resources PolicyPro required additional review and changes and have been updated in the latest release:

  • 2.09 – Termination of Employment
  • 3.11 – Absenteeism
  • 4.05 – Pregnancy Leave
  • 4.07 – Bereavement Leave and Child Death Leave
  • 4.12 – Personal Emergency Leave
  • 4.15 – Family Medical Leave and Family Caregiver Leave
  • 4.25 – Crime-Related Child Disappearance Leave
  • 4.28 – Domestic and Sexual Violence Leave


On December 6, 2017, the Alberta Employment Standards Regulations brought further amendments to the Fair and Family-friendly Workplaces Act (Bill 17) that required additional updates to the following policies in the Alberta edition of Human Resources PolicyPro:

  • 2.06 – Hours of Work
  • 2.17 – Flexible Work Arrangements
  • 3.06 – Overtime

New policy

Sample policy and procedure 5.21 – Sports Teams and Events has been added to the Atlantic and Manitoba and Saskatchewan editions of Human Resources PolicyPro.

Sponsoring a sports team might seem like a harmless way to boost employee morale and promote team building in the workplace, but experts suggest that workplaces first assess and mitigate the legal risks. There are some precautionary measures you can take so you don’t run the risk of being liable for either a workers’ compensation claim or the injury of someone else by an employee during company events.

If you are not a subscriber and would like to learn more about HRPP, click here to find out how you can take a free trial.

Special notice: Inside Policies newsletter

All PolicyPro subscribers will now receive the Inside Policies newsletter via email. This will replace the existing PDF version. The new bi-weekly e-newsletter will cover compliance and best practices for employment law, finance, governance, IT, accessibility, non-profits and more. The print updates will continue as before, but the e-newsletter will provide you with the information you need to update your policies sooner.


Does your workplace display all the
postings required by law?
required workplace postings

All employers are required to display posters and other documents in the workplace under employment standards, health and safety regulations, human rights legislation and other laws or regulations, depending on the jurisdiction. You likely already understand the need for these postings, but you might be surprised to learn just how many documents are required!

Last December, we released our required postings checklist for Ontario (you can get it for free here). Due to its popularity, we developed a new compliance checklist specifically for employers in Alberta to highlight the most important required postings employers need to display in the workplace. Alberta employers can download a free copy of the new checklist here.

For employers outside of Alberta and Ontario, The Human Resources Advisor contains quick reference charts to indicate which postings are required in each jurisdiction and provides links to printable versions of these documents. Subscribers and anyone currently taking a trial can access these charts under the QRs tab.



About the First Reference Update

Our monthly corporate newsletter helps you learn how to use our products and services to meet your growing HR and payroll compliance obligations and achieve your internal control goals. You can try any of our products for free today. Feel free to forward the newsletter to anyone who might find it useful or share the link below.

Subscribe to the First Reference Update or view previous issues here.

Update your preferences to receive the content that’s most relevant to you!

Follow these steps to log into your First Reference account and select which topics you'd like to receive news and information about:

  • If you know your password, click here.
  • If you don't know your password or haven't created one yet, click here. Once you've set your password, navigate to the "My Preferences" tab (you might need to click "My Account" first) or click this link.