It’s Now Officially Illegal for Employers to Contact Employees After Working Hours

Posted: 12.03.2021
Since the start of people working from home because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the line between work and personal time has blurred a lot more.

So, in response to this, the Ontario government has passed the Working for Workers Act, 2021, now making it illegal for employers to draw the line and contact employees after working hours.

The Act was first proposed in October.

Monte McNaughton, Minister of Labour, Training and Skills Development, says this Act is meant to make it easier to spend time with family and loved ones, requiring most workplaces to have a right to disconnect policy.

McNaughton says the Act is also meant to help workers advance their careers and earn more by banning businesses from using non-compete agreements. In addition, it will protect and support vulnerable workers by establishing mandatory licencing of recruiters and temp help agencies and truckers and food delivery couriers having the right to access washrooms in business in restaurants.

Here is a full list of changes below:
  • Require employers with 25 or more employees to have a written policy about employees disconnecting from their job to help employees spend more time with their families.
  • Ban the use of non-compete agreements that prevent people from exploring other work opportunities to help advance their careers.
  • Help remove barriers, such as Canadian experience requirements, for internationally trained individuals to get licenced in a regulated profession.
  • Require recruiters and temporary help agencies to have a licence to operate in the province to help protect vulnerable employees from being exploited.
  • Require business owners to allow delivery workers to use a company’s washroom if they are delivering or picking up items.
  • Allow surpluses in the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board’s Insurance Fund to be distributed over certain levels to businesses.
  • Enable the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board to work with entities, like the Canada Revenue Agency, to streamline remittances for businesses.
  • Allow the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs to collect information related to the agri-food workforce to ensure the government can enhance the coordination of services.

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