Ontario employers be advised: there are two upcoming deadlines to implement new workplace policies to comply with recent legislative amendments to the Employment Standards Act, 2000 ("ESA").
As a result of the Working for Workers Act, 2021, which we previously wrote about in detail here, on Thursday, June 2, 2022, Ontario employers with 25 or more employees as of January 1, 2022 are required to implement a written policy on disconnecting from work.
Disconnecting from work policies must be in writing, and pertain to employees not engaging in work-related communications, including emails, telephone calls, video calls or sending or reviewing other messages, and being free from the performance of work.
Importantly, disconnecting from work policies do not create any new legal rights regarding disconnect from work. Therefore, it is important for an employer to draft its policy regarding disconnecting from work carefully to prevent the unintentional creation of a greater right or benefit for employees than required by the ESA.
Additionally, the Working for Workers Act, 2022, which we wrote about in detail here also requires Ontario employers with 25 employees or more as of January 1, 2022 to implement a policy on electronic monitoring of employees. This policy must be in writing and is required even if the employer does not monitor employees electronically. The deadline for employers to have this policy in place is Tuesday, October 11, 2022.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.