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Defining The Term “Disconnecting From Work”

3 Mins read

Countries, provinces and cities are proposing new legislations that would encourage employees to disconnect from the office and sustain a healthier work life balance. Canada’s Ontario province recently passed a new law which among other things is also defining the term, “disconnecting from work” for them.

According to the law called, Bill 27, Working for Workers Act, 2021 enacted by the Legislative Assembly of Ontario, the New Part VII.0.1 of the Act in defining the term “disconnecting from work,” states that it means: “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.”

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Ontario – Working for Workers: Defining The Term “Disconnecting From Work”

As Ontario passes the Working for Workers Act, 2021 on November 30, 2021; Monte McNaughton, Minister of Labour, Training and Skills Development, issued the following statement in recognition of the passage.

“Our government is working for workers everyday to help them earn bigger paycheques, stay safe, and have better opportunities. We are determined to rebalance the scales and put workers in the driver’s seat of Ontario’s economic growth while attracting the best workers to our great province.

Through the passage of this legislation, Ontario is ensuring our labour laws keep pace with the acceleration of new technology, automation, and remote work. We are protecting workers’ rights, while positioning Ontario as the top destination for global talent and investment.

The Third Space: This is the transitional gap in between what we do. It’s not what we do. It’s what we do in between what we do that is most important.

Adam Fraser

Meaning Business: Measures Beyond Words

We have introduced measures to make it easier to spend time with family and loved ones, requiring most workplaces have a right to disconnect policy. To help workers advance their careers and earn more, we are banning businesses from using non-compete agreements.

Other changes passed today will protect and support vulnerable workers by establishing mandatory licensing of recruiters and temporary help agencies, with the harshest penalties in the country for violators.

For truckers and food delivery couriers who keep our world moving, we are enshrining their right to access washrooms in the businesses and restaurants they serve.

Finally, we are making it easier for internationally trained individuals to practice in the professions they trained in, helping more businesses find the workers they need to drive economic prosperity for us all.

This legislation is another step towards building back a better province and cementing Ontario’s position as a global leader, for others to follow, as the best place in the world to live, work and raise a family.”


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Out-of-Hours Emails Just Doesn’t Stop!

During the pandemic many workers have felt more under siege than ever from work emails that arrive at all hours. ‘It just doesn’t stop!,’ she said, exasperated. Do we need a new law to ban out-of-hours emails? Could the legal right to disconnect help?’

Email Generated Social Emotion Combustion

For 10 years, Jonathan has been available on email, so goes the story in The Guardian. He receives messages as early as 6am and as late as midnight, and steadily for a 12-hour stretch every day.  And right from when he first became a lawyer, the clear expectation was that he would do his best to read them as soon as they came in.

“When you get these emails on your phone, as we all do now, the pressure externally and internally to do something is huge,” Jonathan, 41, from north-west England, says.

Grimacing, he remembers checking his inbox while on holiday with his partner, which led to a blazing row in the middle of a tourist spot. “I was told: ‘What can you do about it here?’ I said: ‘I can’t do anything about it. But I need to know, I need to see if there’s anything for me to reply to.’”

“There are multiple ways to have 100% control over how you handle emails. But they ALL start with you. I also wonder if this might be connected to a more general phone-psychosis. The one where you are overall seriously dependent on your phone and it’s “plings”. So the simple option of silencing your phone completely (at home) is just not mentally possible.”

A reader’s comment on The Guardian

You Have Control

Studies show that a boss’s work-life balance is an important factor in the work-life balance of their employees. It is generally stated that if all better utilize their downtimes, everyone will be more likely physically and emotionally healthier.

Your life and your celebrations are yours to design.


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