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Ontario's Right To Disconnect Policy Has Kicked In & Emails Can Be Ignored After Work Now

These are the companies it affects.

Toronto Associate Editor
Ontario's Legislative Building. Right: Someone working from home.

Ontario's Legislative Building. Right: Someone working from home.

If you're tired of answering emails or phone calls after you've clocked out for the day, well, Ontario, there might be some good news for you.

As of Thursday, June 2, Ontario's right to disconnect policy officially came into effect, which means businesses with 25 workers or more had to have a written policy in place for disconnecting from work after the day is done.

"These workplace policies could include, for example, expectations about response time for emails and encouraging employees to turn on out-of-office notifications when they aren’t working," the provincial government said in a previous release.

As of next January, employers with 25 employees or more will have to have a written policy at work before March 1 of that same year, and this will apply in the years that follow, too. In the total count, they have to include all part-time and casual workers, no matter how many hours they work at the company.

So, what does this mean for employees at these businesses?

Well, with this act, workers don't have to answer phone calls, emails, video calls or anything else remotely work-related when it's time to sign off.

According to the Ontario government, this right to disconnect policy will apply to everyone covered by the Employment Standards Act except for anyone who works for the Crown, a Crown agency or any company whose members are appointed by the Crown and their employees.

"People are more than their jobs. They are mums and dads, volunteers, members of faith communities, and so much more. I'm proud that we are the first in North America to make sure workers have the right to disconnect at the end of their work day," Labour Minister Monte McNaughton said in a tweet late last week.

Ontario's Working for Workers Act, 2021 was passed late last year, and on top of this policy, companies are also banned from using non-compete clauses in their agreements, which prevented employees from working for the direct competition after their working relationship is over.

This article's cover image was used for illustrative purposes only.

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