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Do Ontario’s new labour law changes affect your business?

Ontario recently passed new labour legislation with several measures that might impact your business.

Disconnecting from Work policy

Employers with 25 or more employees will need to have a written policy on disconnecting from work in place by June 2022. Disconnecting from work is defined 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.” Please stay tuned for more information.

Non-compete agreements banned

The Ontario government has banned employers from including non-compete agreements in contracts for employees who are not “executives”, effective retroactively to October 25, 2021. A non-compete agreement is defined as “an agreement, or any part of an agreement, between an employer and an employee that prohibits the employee from engaging in any business, work, occupation, profession, project or other activity that is in competition with the employer’s business after the employment relationship between the employee and the employer ends.” There is an exception if the non-compete is part of a sale or lease of a business or part of a business. This ban does not restrict an employer from using other contractual terms such as a non-solicitation, confidentiality, or non-disclosure clause or agreement.

Mandating access to washrooms

Once the government sets the date for this policy to take effect, business owners will be required to allow access to on-site washrooms to workers who drop off and/or pick up items for delivery. There are some exceptions, including health or safety reasons and if the washroom is located in/accessed through a private home.

Returning WSIB surpluses to employers

CFIB has long advocated for the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) to return surplus funds to the employers that paid them. The new labour legislation requires the WSIB to return excess funds to employers once their surplus reaches 125%, with an option to return the funds earlier at their discretion if the board’s surplus is between 115% and 125%. Since the WSIB is now in a position to decide, CFIB will urge them to return the extra funds as soon as this part of the legislation takes effect.

For more information, please call 1-888-234-2232 to speak to a CFIB Business Advisor.