At long last, the Ontario government has provided further information on their newly required Disconnecting from Work policy.
As a reminder, late last year the government passed Bill 27, The Working for Workers Act, which included several amendments to the ESA that we noted in a previous Alert found here. But one of the most notable changes was the introduction of the Disconnecting from Work policy – which would allow for employees to avoid work calls/emails outside of work hours.
This policy must be implemented by June 2, 2022 and is only required of Ontario employers with 25 or more employees as of January 1st, 2022. Beginning in 2023, and in the years that follow, employers that employ 25 or more employees on January 1 of any year must have a written policy on disconnecting from work in place before March 1 of that year. Where an employer may have multiple locations in Ontario, they must include the total number of employees for all locations in their count.
It is also important to note that you must count employees regardless of employment status – ie. part-time, casual, fixed term, remote workers, employees on layoff or leave of absence, etc., must all be included in the count. Employees that come from temporary help agencies should not be included. Please note, further regulations are expected and could result in changes to the policy requirements.
If you are an Ontario employer with 25 or more employees, please reach out to us to receive your Disconnecting from Work policy. Please note you may be required to toggle up in order to receive your policy, depending on your current level of service.
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to reach out.