Working for Workers ActPublished on October 25, 2021
The pandemic has changed the way that we work in Newmarket-Aurora and across Ontario. In September, almost a third of Ontario workers spent at least half of their time working from home, the highest percentage of any province in Canada.
Workers are also facing a blurring between their work time and family time, negatively impacting their mental health, and increasing anxiety and depression. Ontario is also seeing an increase in non-compete agreements, even for entry-level roles, which restrict work opportunities and suppress salary increases
That’s why this government is introducing the Working for Workers Act, which if passed, would make Ontario the first jurisdiction in Canada to tackle these trends and chart the course for the future of work. The Act would require employers with 25 employees or more to develop disconnecting from work policies, which could include expectations about response time for emails and encouraging employees to turn on out-of-office notifications when they aren’t working.
The proposed legislation would also prohibit employers from using non-compete agreements.
These changes help workers in Ontario advance their careers, earn more money and gives the province a competitive advantage in attracting global talent. Employers would still be able to protect their intellectual property through narrower clauses.
Measures announced earlier this month to break down barriers for internationally-trained workers, establish a licensing framework for recruiters and temporary help agencies, ensure bathroom access for delivery workers and support businesses and workers by returning excess WSIB funds are also included in this bill.
The way we work is changing. That’s why the government is acting swiftly to make sure workers continue to be protected. The Working for Workers Act will propose changes to promote work-life balance and create more opportunities for career growth. Learn more: https://news.ontario.ca/en/release/1001033/ontario-creating-a-better-future-for-workers