April 2022
New Mandatory Policies for Right to Disconnect and Electronic Monitoring in the Workplace

2022-04-26 12:21:31 PM


There are two new mandatory policies that must be developed as the result of two pieces of legislation. A summary is available below and is applicable in certain situations. 

Right to Disconnect

On December 2 2021, Bill 27, the Working for Workers Act, 2021 received Royal Assent. The new requirement falls under the Employment Standards Act (ESA) and so applies to provincially regulated workplaces. Specifically:

An employer that, on January 1 of any year, employs 25 or more employees shall, before March 1 of that year, ensure it has a written policy in place 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.

Given the date of Royal Assent, there is a transition period of 6 months which means policies must be implemented by June 2nd 2022.

An employer must also make arrangements to retain copies of every written policy on electronic monitoring for three years after the policy ceases to be in effect and provide a copy of the policy to each employee within 30 days of preparing the policy, or if an existing policy is changed within 30 days of it being made. It must also be provided to new employees within 30 days.
 
Additional information may be prescribed. At this time, no regulations have been filed, but the language here suggests that a new regulation under the ESA could be filed in the future.

The Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development has released guidance on the policy. 

Electronic Monitoring in the Workplace

On April 11th, Bill 88, the  Working for Workers Act, 2022, received Royal Assent.  The Bill contains a number of changes for employers including a requirement for a policy on electronic monitoring in the workplace. The new requirement falls under the ESA and so applies to provincially regulated workplaces. Specifically:

An employer that, on January 1 of any year, employs 25 or more employees shall, before March 1 of that year, ensure it has a written policy in place for all employees with respect to electronic monitoring of employees.

Given the date of Royal Assent, there is a transition period of 6 months which means policies must be implemented by October 11th 2022.

The legislation provides that the policy must contain the following:

  • Whether the employer electronically monitors employees and if so,
    • a description of how and in what circumstances the employer may electronically monitor employees, and
    •  the purposes for which information obtained through electronic monitoring may be used by the employer.
  • The date the policy was prepared and the date any changes were made to the policy.
  • Such other information as may be prescribed
At this time, no regulations have been filed, but the language here suggests that a new regulation under the ESA could be filed in the future.

An employer must also make arrangements to retain copies of every written policy on electronic monitoring for three years after the policy ceases to be in effect and and provide a copy of the policy to each employee within 30 days of preparing the policy, or if an existing policy is changed within 30 days of it being made. It must also be provided to new employees within 30 days.

Considerations

Municipalities may wish to consider how these two new policies fit within their existing human resources, information technology and other policies in their suites to ensure these are complementary
 


 


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