Ontario has taken the first step towards requiring employers to provide employees with the ‘right to disconnect’ from work., The Working for Workers Act, 2021 (“Act”) has been introduced (but not yet passed) and would require most employers introduce “right to disconnect” policies as well as bar non-compete clauses.

In a purported effort to promote a healthy work/life balance, the Act would require employers with 25 or more employees to develop disconnecting from work policies, which could include expectations about email response times, as well as turning on out-of-office notifications when not working, among other things.

The Act would also prohibit the use of non-compete agreements, which tend to restrict employees from gaining new employment at a company in a similar field as their previous employer. That said, this aspect of the legislation will have little impact on employers since most non-compete agreements are unenforceable already.

Another notable feature of the proposed legislation surrounds recruiters and temporary help agencies. If passed, the legislation would require that all agencies and recruiters have a license to operate in the province.

Please note that if passed, this legislation would only apply to provincially regulated employers in Ontario and would be the first of its kind in Canada.

We’ll be sure to keep you updated if this proposed legislation gets passed. In the meantime, if you have any questions, please do not hesitate to reach out to speak with an e2r™ Advisor.