Ontario’s “Right to Disconnect” Law Now in Effect

Ontario’s right to disconnect policy has officially been enacted as of June 3rd, and this new law has major implications for workers and employers. According to our hiring experts at Nova Staffing, here is everything you need to know about this new work policy and how it will impact your company. 

 

What is the policy?

In late 2021, Ontario enacted Bill 27: Working for Workers Act 2021. This bill requires employers with 25 or more staff as of January 1st, 2022, to have a policy that outlines how workers can disconnect from the workplace after hours. It has been dubbed the “Right to Disconnect” law and is now officially in effect. Companies have un

 

What does “disconnect from work” mean?

The boundaries between work and personal life got blurred during the pandemic and work from home, resulting in burnout and poor work-life balance for some workers. The new Act now legally protects employees from working after hours. The Act formally defines disconnecting from work as “not engaging in work-related communications, including emails, telephone calls, video calls or sending or reviewing other messages, to be free from the performance of work.” In other words, your employers can no longer ask you to do tasks related to work outside of formal work hours. 

 

When does this policy go into effect?

The Right to Disconnect law formally went into effect in Ontario on June 3rd. However, companies have a grace period to draft a written policy related to this. Starting in 2023, businesses with 25 workers or more will need an official written policy on disconnecting from work in place before March 1st of that year. 

 

What inspired this new Act?

The new Act was inspired by France’s 2016 law that gave workers the right to turn off electric work devices outside of business hours. Canada’s federal government began reviewing labor standards in 2018, mulling whether this would also be useful here. A federal committee began analyzing the issue last October, but Ontario chose not to wait for federal regulations and instead drafted its own provincial policy. 

 

What should companies do now?

If this new policy impacts your company, it’s time to start drafting a workplace policy about disconnecting after hours! Feel free to contact our HR experts at Nova Staffing for any help. Our team has over 200 years of combined industry experience, and we’d be happy to help guide you and fill any open positions you have. 

 

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