The cannabis cannabis-induced impairment of an employee in the workplace : what is the employer’s legal position?
Enslin, Jacobus Johannes
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Since the legalisation of the cultivation, possession and use of cannabis in South Africa, the recreational use of cannabis amongst the population has been on the rise. As a result of the impact of cannabis consumption on the human body, persons consuming cannabis usually experience a period of impairment. Tetrahydrocannabinol, one of the main active components found in cannabis, is responsible for causing impairment in persons consuming cannabis. When an impaired person enters the workplace environment, it often compromises the safety and efficiency in the working environment. Employers have a duty to ensure that all reasonable precautions are taken to maintain a safe working environment for all persons in it. This is usually done by implementing workplace policies. For employers to be able to implement policies preventing employees under the influence of cannabis from entering the workplace, employers must be able to identify instances of cannabis-induced impairment. Unlike alcohol, there is no direct correlation between the amount of tetrahydrocannabinol in a person’s blood stream and impairment. Tetrahydrocannabinol causes impairment, but remains in the human body long after impairment has subsided. This study investigates the employers’ legal position when employees report for work while being under the influence of cannabis. Employment policies are proposed for identifying and dealing with employees who are under the influence of cannabis in the workplace.
- Law