Ontario Passed A Bill That Could Let You Stop Answering Those After Work Calls & Emails

Most businesses will have to acknowledge their workers' right to disconnect.

Ontario Passed A Bill That Could Let You Stop Answering Those After Work Calls & Emails
Toronto Associate Editor

Attention all Ontario workers: your work-life balance is about to get more, well, balanced.

On November 30, the provincial government announced it passed the Working for Workers Act, 2021, which requires businesses with 25 employees or more to have a written policy for disconnecting from work at the end of the day.

This could include not sending or replying to any work emails, phone calls, Zoom calls, or any other work-related messages when it's time to head home.

"We have introduced measures to make it easier to spend time with family and loved ones, requiring most workplaces have a right to disconnect policy," Minister of Labour, Training and Skills Development Monte McNaughton said in a statement.

"To help workers advance their careers and earn more, we are banning businesses from using non-compete agreements."

According to the Working for Workers Act, this means that employers cannot stop their employees from taking on other work that is in direct competition with the employer's business after the working relationship ends.

Another change introduced by the bill will also allow food delivery workers and truck drivers the right to use the washrooms at the places that they work with. This act also will help internationally trained Ontarians to work in the careers that they are actually trained in, which could help more businesses find workers they need.

"This legislation is another step towards building back a better province and cementing Ontario’s position as a global leader, for others to follow, as the best place in the world to live, work and raise a family," McNaughton said.

Alex Arsenych
Toronto Associate Editor