Impairment in the workplace

Last updated: September 7, 2021

Get answers to questions about impairment in the workplace in the BC Public Service.

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What is impairment?

The BC Public Service promotes a safe and healthy workplace that supports employee well-being.

Impairment in the workplace can affect workplace health, safety and operations and can come from many different sources, including:

  • Prescription drugs
  • Medications and over the counter drugs
  • Alcohol
  • Cannabis
  • Medical conditions
  • Illicit drugs
  • Fatigue

What is 'fit for duty'?

In the BC Public Service, 'fit for duty' is defined as:

“a physical, mental and emotional state which enables employees to perform their job tasks competently and continuously in a manner which does not compromise the integrity of the BC Public Service or create a safety hazard to themselves or others.”

All BC Public Service employees must be fit for duty at all times during work.

In accordance with the Standards of Conduct, employees cannot be impaired and must be fit for duty when they commence work and anytime during their work including returning from breaks.

Impairing substances or conditions affect individuals differently.

Employees must be aware of how substances or conditions affect them specifically, including being aware of how long the effects of an impairing substance or condition may last for them, so they are not impaired while working. This includes ensuring that substances used during off work hours do not have any impairing effects while at work. 

Supervisor responsibilities

If you're a supervisor, you are expected to:

Employee responsibilities

Promoting workplace health and safety is a shared responsibility.

To ensure everyone’s safety, all BC Public Service employees must:

If you have any questions about workplace impairment, talk with your supervisor.



Managers and supervisors

Meeting in a Box: Facilitating the conversation about impairment in the workplace

Get the tools you need to have an engaging and productive conversation about impairment in the workplace.

Non-medical cannabis facts and resources

Contact us

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If you're a government employee without an IDIR, call the BC Public Service Agency to submit your service request.