Employers that employ 25 or more employees under the ESA on January 1, 2022, have until June 2, 2022, to have a written policy on disconnecting from work in place. Beginning in 2023 and in the following years, employers that employ 25 or more employees on January 1 must have a written policy on disconnecting from work before March 1 of that year.
The term “disconnecting from work” is defined in the ESA to mean not engaging in work-related communications, including emails, telephone calls, video calls or sending or reviewing other messages, and to be free from the performance of work.
The ESA does not specify the information the employer must include in the policy, nor does it specify that the policy must be a particular length. The employer determines the content of the policy itself.
- The employer recognizes that employees have a right to disconnect from work and are under no obligation to answer phone calls, emails, or messages outside the hours defined by the terms of employment agreements. They shall not be reprimanded, subjected to discipline, or denied the rights and privileges under the Employment Standards Act for failing to do so.
- All employees shall be informed of updates to the right to disconnect policy during the implementation and review stages.
Written policy requirements
The employer may provide the policy to employees as:
- a printed copy
- an attachment to an email if the employee can print a copy
- a link to the document online if the employee has a reasonable opportunity to access the document and a printer (and knows how to use the computer and printer)
Employers must include the date the policy was prepared and the date any changes were made to the policy.