Governing Documents: Staff
Effective Date:
March 20, 2012
Revised Date:
Review Date:
March 20, 2022
Approving Body:
Board of Governors
President, delegated to the Vice-President (Administration)
Executive Director of Human Resources
Applies to:

All Employees

1.0 Reason for Policy

To provide employees and their supervisors with guidelines and support in addressing issues or problems related to substance usage and/or dependency that might be affecting a staff member’s ability to attend work on a regular basis, negatively affect his/her performance while at work and potentially place others in the workplace at risk.

2.0 Policy Statement

2.1 The University of Manitoba recognizes that substance usage and/or dependency problems can have a detrimental effect on work performance and behaviour. The University has a responsibility to its employees, students and members of the University community to ensure that this risk is minimized. For the purposes of this Policy substance abuse shall refer to a maladaptive pattern of use of a substance that is not considered dependent. Substance dependence shall refer to the persistent use of such as alcohol and other drugs despite problems related to the use of the substance.

2.2 The University further asserts that regular attendance is a reasonable expectation for satisfactory performance of duties and responsibilities. It is a shared responsibility of the supervisor and staff member to ensure that this expectation is clearly understood.

2.3 The University also recognizes that substance usage and/or dependency related problems are an area of health and social concern. It recognizes that a member of staff with such problems may need help and support from his/her employer.

2.4 In Canada, substance dependency is widely accepted as a form of disability. However, a distinction must be made between substance abuse and substance dependence, as only the latter is accepted as a disability. In general, the onus lies with the employee to establish that a disability exists.

2.5 Accordingly the University will utilize two approaches as follows:

a) Providing reasonable assistance to the member of staff with a substance dependency problem who is willing to co-operate in treatment for that problem.

b) Disciplinary action, enforced through disciplinary procedures, where use of a substance (other than as prescribed by a physician) affects performance or behaviour at work, and where either:

i) A substance dependency problem does not exist; or

ii) Where treatment is not possible or has not succeeded.

2.6 The staff member may access services to provide treatment or other forms of specialist assistance provided by medical physicians, employee assistance programs, hospitals or other agencies. Where the staff member accepts the assistance of representatives of the University or their employee association/union, access to support systems shall be provided.

3.0 Accountability

3.1 The University Secretary is responsible for advising the President that a formal review of the Policy is required.

3.2 The Executive Director of Human Resources is responsible for the communication, administration and interpretation of this policy.

4.0 Secondary Documents

4.1 The Approving Body may approve Procedures which are secondary to and comply with this Policy.

4.2 Administration may approve Procedures which are secondary to and comply with this Policy.

5.0 Review

5.1 Formal Policy reviews will be conducted every ten (10) years. The next scheduled review date for this Policy is March 20, 2022.

5.2 In the interim, this Policy may be revised or rescinded if:

(a) the Approving Body deems necessary; or

(b) the relevant Bylaw, Regulations or Policy is revised or rescinded.

5.3 If this Policy is revised or rescinded, all Secondary Documents will be reviewed as soon as reasonably possible in order to ensure that they:

(a) comply with the revised Policy; or

(b) are in turn rescinded.

6.0 Effect on Previous Statements

6.1 This Policy supersedes Alcoholism of University Staff Policy (dated February 17, 1977)

7.0 Cross References

Procedure: Substance Abuse and/or Dependency