Big Changes Proposed for the Employment Standards Act, 2000
November 2, 2021
On October 25, 2021, the Government of Ontario introduced Bill 27, Working for Workers Act, 2021 (“Bill 27”) to amend, among other things, the Employment Standards Act, 2000 (the “ESA“). If passed, Bill 27 and the amendments it includes, would significantly alter the employer-employee relationship.
The changes proposed by Bill 27 include:
New Part VII.0.1 – Right to Disconnect
Bill 27 introduces a new requirement on employers, who employ over 25 employees, 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.
New Part XV.1 – Non-Compete Agreements
Bill 27 prohibits employers from entering into employment contracts or other agreements with employees that are (or that include) a non-compete clause, subject to certain exceptions.
Part XVIII.1 – Temporary Help Agencies and Recruiters
New licensing requirements will be introduced for temporary help agencies and recruiters, including prohibiting employers from operating as a temporary help agency or acting as a recruiter without a license, and prohibiting employers from knowingly engaging or using the services of an unlicensed temporary help agency or recruiter.
How to prepare:
Bill 27 has not yet become law but if it does both employers and employees will be wise to take the necessary steps to protect themselves and their rights. Both groups will benefit from legal advice when and if these proposed amendments become law.