New obligations are being imposed on employers as a result of the Bill 27, or the Working for Workers Act, 2021.
Three new obligations that will be imposed on employers:
1. Employers who employ 25 or more employees will be required to have a written policy with respect to disconnecting from work. The term “disconnecting from work” is defined to mean not engaging in work-related communications, including emails, telephone calls, video calls or the sending or reviewing of other messages, so as to be free from the performance of work. An employer with 25 employees as of January 1st in a year must have the policy in place by March 1st. For 2022 however, an employer has until June 2, 2022 to comply.
2. An employer cannot include a non-competition clause in an employment contract unless (i) there is a sale of a business and immediately following the sale, the seller becomes an employee of the purchaser; or (ii) the employee is an executive who is defined as “executive” any person who holds the office of chief executive officer, president, chief administrative officer, chief operating officer, chief financial officer, chief information officer, chief legal officer, chief human resources officer or chief corporate development officer, or holds any other chief executive position. Bill 27 received Royal Assent on December 2, 2021, and the prohibition against non-compete agreements is deemed to be in force effective October 25, 2021.
3. Once the applicable provisions of Bill 27 become law, temporary help agencies and recruiters will need to be licensed and an employer cannot knowingly engage or use the services of an unlicensed temporary help agency or recruiter.
Lessons to be learned:
1. Your organization will need to implement a written “disconnecting from work” policy if your organization employs at least 25 employees as of January 1, 2022, by June 2, 2021.
2. Any non-competition clause in an employment contract is deemed not to be in force effective October 25, 2021, unless an exemption applies.
3. If you use a temporary help agency and/or a recruiter then you should make sure the organization/individual is licenced once this new requirement takes effect.
For over 30 years, Doug MacLeod of the MacLeod Law Firm has been advising employers on all aspects of the employment relationship. If you have any questions, you can contact him directly at 416-317-9894 or at [email protected]