Does the right to disconnect legislation need more details?

A headshot of Canadian employment lawyer Lior Samfiru next to the Samfiru Tumarkin LLP and CBC News logos.

Many employees in various sectors have transitioned to remote work as a result of the pandemic. In a bid to help protect employee rights, the Ontario government has proposed the right to disconnect legislation. If implemented correctly, employers would not be able to contact employees outside of regular work hours.

Lior Samfiru, a Toronto employment lawyer and Partner at Samfiru Tumarkin LLP spoke with CBC News and CBC Radio’s Cross Country Checkup on the proposed legislation and employee rights.

Samfiru cautions employees that the legislation is short on details and clarity. “Employers are going to implement these policies and they’re going to post them and then people are going to forget about them,’ says Samfiru. “Without enforcement of such legislation, those who opt to disconnect — while their colleagues remain available night and day — could be affected negatively when it comes to future promotions.”

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Samfiru explains that there are other options available to help employees to disconnect properly. “Employers will have a financial incentive to make sure that employees do disconnect,” says Samfiru if overtime policies are updated to compensate employees who cannot disconnect.

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