Ontario passes bill to mandate disconnecting from work policies

Dec 1 2021, 2:51 pm

Ontario has officially passed the Working for Workers Act, which will mandate “right to disconnect” policies at most businesses.

The bill was introduced in an effort to create a better work-life balance for Ontario workers, introduce protections for vulnerable workers, and give delivery drivers better washroom access.

The Working for Workers Act introduces a number of new policies in the province. Here are some of the policies outlined in the new bill:

  • Businesses with 25 or more employees on January 1 of each year must provide written policies on employees’ “right to disconnect” from work. They must provide the written policies by March 1. The act does not outline what these policies will look like.
  • Non-compete clauses are now banned in the province under the new act.
  • It will remove barriers for internationally trained individuals, like Canadian experience requirements, that negatively impact immigrants.
  • Will require recruiters and temp agencies to have a licence to operate in Ontario.
  • Businesses will have to let delivery drivers use their washroom if they are delivering or picking up items. This includes restaurants and other businesses where couriers, truck drivers, and delivery drivers are dropping off or picking up items.

Ontario is the first province in Canada to mandate “right to disconnect” policies. It will be up to individual businesses to create these policies.

The province said that examples of these policies could be establishing email response times during off-hours, or asking employees to turn on out-of-office notifications when they are not working.

Brooke TaylorBrooke Taylor

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