A new amendment to the Employment Standards Act requires employers with 25 or more employees on January 1st of a given year to put in place a written policy regarding any electronic monitoring processes they use to monitor employees. The deadline for 2022 is October 11, 2022.
As electronic monitoring practices vary widely between businesses and different industries, the specific practices of each employer needs to be considered. As well, the ESA allows for multiple policies to be in place if the workplace uses different electronic monitoring practices for different groups of employees. For example, if a business has delivery drivers, for whom electronic monitoring includes GPS tracking, that will need to be included in their policy. However, for the office staff at the same business, different methods of monitoring will apply.
What is Electronic Monitoring?
While the ESA does not specifically define electronic monitoring, we believe the term will likely be interpreted broadly, including any form of monitoring that is done electronically. This includes everything from keystroke monitoring for employees who are working from home, to records of key card swipes in and out of the workplace. The ESA also requires that any employer who does not engage in electronic monitoring at all still have a policy in place, stating that there is no monitoring performed.
The policy itself requires the employer to outline all forms of electronic monitoring that they engage, as well as a brief explanation of each practice’s purpose. It may be necessary to consult with IT and other departments to get a complete understanding of the different sorts of monitoring that are used in your workplace.
To get ready for the October 11, 2022 deadline, employers with 25 or more employees in Ontario should begin reviewing their electronic monitoring practices, and consider whether or not more than one policy will be required for their workplace. If your organization requires assistance in drafting the Electronic Monitoring Policy, the MacLeod Law Firm can assist with tailoring a policy which meets the specific needs of your business.