Ontario labour ministry proposes right to disconnect at the end of workday

The Ontario government is proposing new legislation that would encourage employees to sustain a healthier work life balance.

Labour Minister Monte McNaughton introduced the Working for Workers Act on Monday.

The act would require employers with 25 or more employees to have a written policy about employees disconnecting from their job at the end of the workday to help employees spend more time with their families.

“When you’re off the clock. You’re off the clock,” McNaughton said. “Everyone should be able to unplug at the end of their work day because people are more than their jobs, they’re moms and dads, volunteer for local charities, members of faith communities, and so much more.”

McNaughton said some examples of the policies could include employees turning on out-of-office notifications when they aren’t working, turning off devices, and setting expectations for email response times.

The proposed legislation would also ban the use of non-compete agreements that prevent people from exploring other work opportunities so they can advance in their careers. McNaughton said this would improve Ontario`s ability to attract top talent which would help the province strengthen its economy

The province says the legislation would make the province “the best place for people to work, live and raise a family.”