Whether you do it because you love your job, have a heavy workload, or simply because it’s part of the culture, working after hours can quickly become part of your routine. Ontario’s Ministry of Labour wants to change that with new legislation that will give you the right to fully unplug when you’re off the clock.
On Monday, Labour Minister Monte McNaughton proposed the “first of its kind” Working for Workers Act, which includes a series of new laws to protect workers from burnout.
“Ontario cannot be a province where people burn out from endless work and family time comes last,” McNaughton said. This new law would give workers “the right to disconnect” from their jobs when they’re done for the day.
“When you’re off the clock, you’re off the clock,” he added. If the proposal is passed, Ontario would become the first jurisdiction in Canada to “establish policies that help workers disconnect from their employment responsibilities,” giving them more time to enjoy their offline hours.
The legislation would apply only to companies with 25 employees or more. These companies would be required to implement policies that allow their employees to disconnect from work.
“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,” according to a press release.
Officials also want to make it illegal for big companies to use non-compete agreements to prevent workers from taking other jobs in the same field and advancing their careers.
This comes as more Ontario companies prioritize their employees’ wellbeing through permanent 4-day work weeks. Employers around Ontario and all over Canada are choosing to shorten their working days without cutting salaries or vacation days, and one Toronto-based company claims that the decision doubled their success.
Shortened work weeks could even be implemented on a provincial level. Ontario’s Liberal party leader Steven Del Duca promises to launch a pilot project that will explore the idea if he’s elected in June 2022. This could be the start of serious positive change for Ontario workers!