The Right to Disconnect law went into effect on June 2, 2022.
Employers in Ontario with 25 or more employees must have a written Right to Disconnect Policy in place before June 2, 2022.
What is the Right to Disconnect?
The pandemic has forced many companies to implement remote-working, and the line between professional and personal life has become more blurred. As a result, many employees found it difficult to unplug from their professional lives. The Right to Disconnect allows employees to be free from work-related responsibilities after work hours. The amendment was one of the highlights of the Working for Workers Act, 2021.
The term “disconnecting from work” means not engaging in work-related communications, including emails, telephone calls, video calls or the sending or reviewing of other messages, so as to be free from the performance of work.
What should employers do?
Have a written policy on disconnecting from work
On January 1 of any year, an employer that employs 25 or more employees shall ensure it has a written policy in place before March 1 of that year, for all employees with respect to disconnecting from work that includes the date the policy was prepared and the date any changes were made to the policy.
Provide a copy of the policy to employees
An employer shall provide a copy of the written policy with respect to disconnecting from work to each of the employer’s employees within 30 days of preparing the policy or, if an existing written policy is changed, within 30 days of the changes being made.
An employer shall provide a copy of the written policy with respect to disconnecting from work that applies to a new employee within 30 days of the day the employee becomes an employee of the employer.
Train all your employees on the new after-work communication procedures.
The policy will need to be in place by the 2nd of June in 2022 and the 1st of March each year.
Photography by Scott Turnbull courtesy of Explorers' Edge