The Ontario government has passed new laws it says will help employees disconnect from the office and create a better work-life balance.
On Tuesday, the government said it passed the “Working for Workers Act,” which requires Ontario businesses with 25 people or more to have a written policy about employees’ rights when it comes to disconnecting from their job at the end of the day.
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 government says.
According to the act, between January 1 and March 1 of each year an employer must ensure it has a written policy in place for all employees with respect to disconnecting from work.
“We are determined to rebalance the scales and put workers in the driver’s seat of Ontario’s economic growth while attracting the best workers to our great province,” Monte McNaughton, Minister of Labour, Training and Skills Development, said in a statement Tuesday.
The act also bans the use of non-compete clauses, which prevent people from exploring other work opportunities and higher salaries at other jobs.
According to the government, Ontario is the first jurisdiction in Canada, and one of the first in North America, to ban non-compete agreements in employment.
McNaughton says the new laws not only protects workers’ rights, but also will help to attract top talent and investments to the province.
The act also removes “unfair” work experience requirements for foreign-trained immigrants trying to work in their professions.