Written policy on electronic monitoring
Employers that employ 25 or more employees on January 1 of any year must have a written policy on electronic monitoring in place by March 1 of that year. The employer must, within the specified timeframes, provide a copy of the policy to its employees and to assignment employees who are assigned to perform work for that employer.
A transitional provision establishes that employers that meet the 25-employee threshold on January 1, 2022 have until October 11, 2022 to meet the new requirement to have a written policy in place.
The policy must state whether the employer electronically monitors employees. If the employer does, the policy must include:
- a description of how, and in what circumstances, the employer may electronically monitor employees
- the purposes for which the employer may use the information obtained through electronic monitoring
- the date it was prepared and the date any changes were made to the policy
The new requirement for a written policy requires employers to be transparent by providing employees with certain information about electronic monitoring. It does not:
- establish a right for employees not to be electronically monitored by their employer
- create any new privacy rights for employees
Information about the new requirement will be published soon in Your Guide to the ESA. Read the new legislation: Bill 88, Working for Workers Act, 2022.
Effective April 11, 2022, the length of time an employee must be employed before being eligible for reservist leave has been shortened, from six consecutive months to three consecutive months.
Reservists are also now eligible to take reservist leave to participate in Canadian Forces military skills training.
Business and IT consultants
Effective January 1, 2023, if specified criteria are met, the Employment Standards Act, 2000 will no longer apply to employees who are business consultants or information technology consultants.
Written policy on disconnecting from work
Employers that employ 25 or more employees on January 1 of any year must have a written policy on disconnecting from work in place by March 1 of that year. They must provide a copy of that policy to employees. Disconnecting from work is defined in the ESA. A transitional provision establishes that employers that meet the 25-employee threshold on January 1, 2022 have until June 2, 2022 to meet the new requirement to have a written policy in place.
Non-compete agreements prohibited
Employers are prohibited (with some exceptions), from entering into a non-compete agreement with an employee. Non-compete agreement is defined in the ESA. This prohibition does not apply to non-compete agreements entered into before October 25, 2021.
Ontario COVID‑19 Worker Income Protection Benefit extended to July 31, 2022
On April 29, 2021, the Ontario COVID-19 Worker Income Benefit came into effect and the Employment Standards Act, 2000 (ESA) was amended. Employers are now required to provide eligible employees with up to three days of paid infectious disease emergency leave because of certain reasons related to COVID‑19.
Temporary ESA rules continue
In response to the COVID‑19 pandemic, the Ontario government made a regulation that changed certain Employment Standards Act, 2000 (ESA) rules during the COVID‑19 period. The temporary rules continue to be in effect until July 30, 2022.
A system for licensing requirements of temporary help agencies and recruiters
On a date to be set by the Lieutenant Governor, amendments that establish a system for the licensing of temporary help agencies and recruiters will come into force.