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Three-quarters of Ontario businesses say the provincial government has done a poor job of communicating its new Disconnecting from Work legislation

Toronto, June 07, 2022 – One in three small businesses in Ontario (33%) with 25 or more employees is not aware of a new policy they must have had in place by June 2 to be compliant with the province’s new Disconnecting from Work legislation, found a recent survey by the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB). Over three-quarters of businesses (77%) rated the Ontario government’s efforts to educate them about the policy as “poor” or “very poor”.

The term “disconnecting from work” is defined in the Employment Standards Act as “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.”

“Government communication and clarity is particularly important for this policy, since the legislation doesn’t specify what has to be in it,” said Julie Kwiecinski, CFIB director of provincial affairs for Ontario. “The policy allows lots of flexibility, but it’s harder to comply and avoid paying a possible administrative penalty when the rules aren’t crystal clear.” 

CFIB’s survey also found that:

  • Only 16% of businesses knew and already had a policy in place before June 2
  • 48% listed CFIB as their primary source of information for understanding the policy, while 18% didn’t have a primary source
  • 54% of those who had a primary source of information felt better equipped to develop the policy

To help affected small businesses comply with the new requirement for a Disconnecting from Work policy, CFIB developed an information page and downloadable template, which can be accessed at cfib.ca/disconnect.

“Most small businesses don’t have a full HR or legal department on staff, so it can be challenging to stay on top of new rules and regulations. CFIB will continue to ensure business owners have the tools and information they need to operate their business,” said Ryan Mallough, CFIB vice-president of legislative affairs. 

For media enquiries or interviews, please contact:
Dariya Baiguzhiyeva, CFIB
647-464-2814
[email protected] 

About CFIB
The Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) is Canada’s largest association of small- and medium-sized businesses with 95,000 members across every industry and region, including 38,000 in Ontario. CFIB is dedicated to increasing business owners’ chances of success by driving policy change at all levels of government, providing expert advice and tools, and negotiating exclusive savings. Learn more at cfib.ca.
 

June 7, 2022

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