Download CFIB’s template to comply with Ontario’s Disconnecting from Work policy

Beginning June 2, 2022, Ontario’s Employment Standards Act, 2000 (ESA) requires employers of 25 or more employees in total to have a written Disconnecting form Work policy in place explaining how their employees can disconnect from their workplace.

For CFIB members, simply visit our Member Portal and download our customizable template. 

Not a CFIB member? You can still get our customizable, ready-to-use template today.

Two colleagues looking at a computer and working together

Affected employers must put a new policy in place by March 1, 2023.

  • In order to be compliant, employers of 25 or more Ontario employees in total must have a written Disconnecting from Work policy in place that is shared with all existing and new employees.
  • Every January 1, Ontario businesses with under 25 employees should recount their employees. If they employ 25 or more Ontario employees in total, they are required to have this policy in place by March 1 of the same year.
  • Once an employer has the written policy in place, there is no requirement to develop a new policy by March 1 of each year.
  • You must include the date the policy was prepared and the dates any changes are made to it.
  • Businesses who don’t comply could be subject to administrative penalties or fines.
  • The policy may be shared in hard-copy or electronically.

Submit this form to get your free template

Frequently Asked Questions

What does "disconnecting from work" mean under this policy?

It means not engaging in work-related communications, including emails, telephone calls, video calls or sending or reviewing other messages, to be free from performing work.

How do I count my employees?

Your Disconnecting from Work policy must cover all of your business’s employees in Ontario as of January 1, such as full-time, part-time and casual, as well as management, executives and shareholders if they are employees under the Employment Standards Act.

Employers with multiple locations must count all employees at each Ontario location and add them together to determine if the 25-employee threshold has been met.

Example: Joe owns 3 bakeries in Ontario, one of which has 7 employees, and two have 12 employees each, for a total of 31 employees. Because the business has 25 or more employees, they must put in place a Disconnecting from Work policy for all employees.

What if the number of employees changes throughout the year?

If on January 1 you have fewer than 25 employees, you are not required to put a policy in place. Even if your number of employees increases to 25 or more over the course of the same year, you are not required to put the policy in place. 

Every year on January 1, you should re-count your employees to determine if you are required to put a Disconnecting from Work policy in place. 

Do I have to give a copy of the policy to each employee?

All employees must be provided with a copy of the policy within 30 days of it being created, 30 days of it being changed (if an existing policy is updated), or 30 days of being hired in the case of new employees. The policy may be provided as a printed copy, as an attachment to an e-mail if the employee can print it, or as a link to an online document providing the employee has reasonable access to the document and is able to print it.

Do I have to update my Disconnecting from Work policy?

Your business is not required to amend the policy annually. If you decide on your own to make changes to it, each of the changes must be dated. You don’t have to provide a copy of the written policy to your employees annually if the policy hasn’t changed from the previous year.

Does the policy have any exemptions beyond workplaces with under 25 employees?

The policy applies to all employees and employers covered by the Employment Standards Act with exceptions for government, including government agencies, or authorities, boards, commissions or corporations whose members are all appointed by government.

As of January 1, 2023, business consultants and information technology consultants will no longer be covered by the Employment Standards Act and will no longer be subject to electronic monitoring policy requirements.

What happens if my business doesn’t comply?

Your business could be subject to administrative penalties or fines.

Am I allowed to create more than one policy for my business?

Your business may have multiple policies (i.e., a single policy that applies to all employees, or different policies for different groups of employees).

What are the record-keeping requirements?

You must keep a copy of every Disconnecting from Work policy that was required by the Employment Standards Act for three years after the policy is no longer in effect.