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Date Issued: 07/01/2018


The purpose of this policy is to set out the responsibilities and expectations of the employer with respect to the employees of the Government of Saskatchewan in the context of substance use and the workplace. 

Policy Statement

The Government of Saskatchewan provides an array of services to its citizens and is obligated to ensure that those services are provided in a safe, efficient and effective manner.  As the employer, the Government of Saskatchewan is responsible to ensure the health, safety and welfare of its workforce at work, as far as reasonably possible. 


  • Employees will be aware of and understand the requirements and expectations respecting substance use and the workplace including the possession, distribution and use of substances while at work and while engaged in duties on behalf of the employer.
  • Managers/supervisors will be equipped with the knowledge, tools and supports to deal with substance use and the workplace.


This policy is based on the following principles:

  • All employees have a responsibility to be fit when reporting for duty.
  • The confidentiality and privacy of employees' personal health information will be respected and protected at all times in accordance with The Health Information Protection Act.
  • The employer and its employees must comply with the obligations respecting occupational health and safety as set out in Part III of The Saskatchewan Employment Act and The Occupational Health and Safety Regulations, 2020. 
  • The employer will respect the employer's duty to accommodate through compliance with PS 705 Employment Accommodation in the appropriate circumstances.


This policy applies to all employees and all workplaces where those employees carry out their duties.

Policy Terms

A.      When reporting for duty employees are expected to be fit for duty and to remain so for the duration of any period they carry out duties, or may be expected to carry out duties.

  • Fit for duty means that an employee's performance is not altered or affected by the use of a substance. 
  • Employees are expected to perform their duties in a manner that ensures their health and safety, and the health and safety of others who may be affected.
  • Where an employee suspects their work performance may be altered or affected, the health or safety of any person may be placed at risk, or damage to property may occur because of the employee's substance use, their immediate manager/supervisor must be advised before commencing duties.  Once notified, the manager/supervisor must take immediate action.
 B.     Where an employee reports for duty and is not fit for duty without a reasonable excuse, that employee is in breach of this policy and may be subject to discipline up to and including termination in accordance with PS 803 Corrective Discipline.

 C.     If an employee is using a substance for medical purposes and they are unsure the substance or medication could alter or affect being fit for duty, the employee is required to consult the licensed healthcare provider who prescribed the substance to determine if the substance does or could cause medical restrictions.  Where this potential exists the employee must disclose this information to their manager/supervisor and the matter will be administrated in accordance with PS 705 Employment Accommodation. 

D.     Where an employee requests an accommodation related to a substance use disorder/addiction, the employer will comply with PS 705 Employment Accommodation in the appropriate circumstances.  Employees can also contact the Employee and Family Assistance Program which offers professional and confidential assessment, short-term counselling and referral services aimed at helping employees and family members work through personal problems or concerns.

E.      Where an employee is asked to report for duty at an unscheduled time and is not fit for duty, it is the responsibility of the employee to decline the assignment.

F.      The possession, distribution and/or use of recreational substances by an employee in the workplace or during any period in which the employee is carrying out their duties are prohibited.  Notwithstanding this prohibition, alcohol may be consumed by an employee at a government sponsored banquet or reception where alcohol is served or at a similar event sponsored by a government in another jurisdiction.

G.     The possession, distribution and/or use of illegal substances or illicit substances by an employee in the workplace or during any period in which the employee is carrying out their duties are prohibited.  


A.     Employees have a responsibility to read, understand and comply with this policy.  Any questions regarding this policy should be clarified by the employee with their manager/supervisor.  Employees are also required to complete the mandatory training associated with this policy (Substance Use and the Workplace Learn Module).

B.     Safety is the responsibility of everyone, and employees have a responsibility to notify their manager/supervisor if they suspect another employee is not fit for duty while at work.

C.     Managers/supervisors are responsible for managing the work performance and conduct of their employees, the safety of the workplace, and are required to take appropriate action if inappropriate behaviours, unsatisfactory performance, or conduct issues arise.  

D.     Managers/supervisors are responsible for identifying employees who are not fit for duty.  In situations where a manager/supervisor knows or suspects an employee is not fit for duty, the manager/supervisor is to discuss the concern with the employee.  Where an employee is found to be in breach of this policy without reasonable excuse, the employee may be subject to discipline up to and including termination in accordance with policy PS 803 Corrective Discipline. 

E.      A manager/supervisor, in consultation with the Human Resource Business Partner, may request the employee provide written confirmation from the employee's treating licensed health care provider certifying the employee is fit for duty while taking a substance or advising of medical restrictions. 

F.      Managers/supervisors are responsible for ensuring employees have read, understand and comply with the policy, and clarify any questions employees may have on this policy.  Managers/supervisors are also required to complete, and ensure employees have completed, the mandatory training associated with this policy (Substance Use and the Workplace Learn Module).


alcohol means the intoxicating agent in beverage alcohol, or ethyl alcohol, and includes but is not limited to beer, wine and distilled spirits.  

drug means a substance that acts on the central nervous system to change, alter or affect the way a person thinks, feels, or acts.  This does not include caffeine or nicotine. 

employees means all employees to whom The Public Service Act, 1998 applies, whether appointed pursuant to the Act, hired pursuant to a contract or otherwise and includes students, volunteers and consultants.

illegal substance means any drug or substance that is not legally obtainable or whose use, sale, possession, purchase or transfer is restricted or prohibited by law (i.e. "street drugs" such as cocaine, crystal methamphetamine, etc.).

illicit substance means a prescribed, authorized or over-the-counter drug intentionally or recklessly used in a way that was not intended and includes legally obtained drugs in amounts exceeding legal limits.  

medication means a drug obtained legally, either over the counter, or through a licensed healthcare practitioner either in the form of a prescription or authorization (including authorized medical cannabis (marijuana)). 

medical restriction means a physical or mental limitation that may restrict an employee from fulfilling one or more specific job duties. 

recreational substance means alcohol or a legally obtained drug such as cannabis (marijuana) taken for enjoyment or leisure purposes rather than for medical reasons.

substance means any alcohol, drugs, medications or recreational substances.

substance use disorder/addiction means a medical condition that involves the overuse of, or dependence on, a substance, leading to effects that are detrimental to the individual's physical and mental health, or the welfare of others.

workplace means all Government of Saskatchewan property, buildings, facilities, work sites, vehicles and equipment owned, leased, operated or otherwise controlled by the Government of Saskatchewan or any other location where an employee is conducting their duties on behalf of the employer.


The Public Service Act, 1998
The Saskatchewan Employment Act

Related Policies

PS 705 Employment Accommodation Policy
PS 803 Corrective Discipline
PS 812 Smoke-free Workplace Policy

Resources and Tools

Employee and Family Assistance Program
The Saskatchewan Occupational Health and Safety Regulations 2020
The Health Information Protection Act
The Saskatchewan Human Rights Code
Substance Use and the Workplace Learn Module
How to Administer the Substance Use and the Workplace Policy 

Policy Inquiries

For inquiries, please contact the Human Resource Service Centre.

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If you have any questions or require more information please contact:

HR Service Centre
Phone: 1-877-852-5808 or 306-798-0000
Fax: 1-877-852-9219 or 306-798-9966
2100 Broad Street, Regina, SK, S4P 1Y5

HR Business Partner Teams Directory 


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