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Temporary ESA rules no longer in effect

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 ended on July 30, 2022. We are in the process of updating this guide with more detailed information. Please continue to check this guide for more information in the coming days.

Paid Infectious Disease Emergency Leave extended to March 31, 2023

The Employment Standards Act, 2000 (ESA) was amended on April 29, 2021 to require employers to provide eligible employees with up to three days of paid infectious disease emergency leave for certain reasons related to COVID-19. The leave is retroactive to April 19, 2021. Eligible employers can apply to be reimbursed for these payments through the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board.

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

Reservist leave

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.

Information about the change will be published soon in Your Guide to the ESA. Read the new legislation: Bill 88, Working for Workers Act, 2022.

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.

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.