Canada

Working from home during a coronavirus pandemic puts the “right to disconnect” law in the limelight.


Tara Deschamps, The Canadian Press

Published on Monday, December 27, 2021 at 1:37 pm EST

During the morning routine of Yusuf, Toronto-Denmark, his office phone rarely rings and he rarely makes appointments with the staff of a Toronto insurance company.

The lack of confusion is not a coincidence. Yusuf instructed staff not to plan meetings or send electronic communications early in the morning or after 5 pm, hoping to help them relax and enjoy their personal lives.

“I have a three and a half year old daughter, but people don’t schedule meetings with me between 8am and 9am because they have breakfast, change clothes, and leave for day care.” Zensurance CEO Said.

“My team knows it and people appreciate it.”

His policies are taking on new importance and are being considered by more businesses and governments as the line between work and personal life becomes more blurry during the pandemic.

Canadians working from home during a crisis are increasingly balancing their boss’s needs with family obligations, such as caring for their children at home due to school outbreaks.

It can be difficult to get away from the phone or computer if many people stop commuting and the attractiveness of going out becomes less attractive as the number of cases of COVID-19 increases again.

The average time a Canadian worker spent logging on to a computer increased from 9 hours a day to 11 hours a day during the pandemic cybersecurity company NordLayer, which was discovered in February.

More recently, a November report from talent software company Ceridian found that 84% of the 1,304 Canadian workers surveyed by Hanover Research felt they had burned out in the last two years.

Some people are anxious for these statistics to change.

Inspired by a 2016 law that gives French workers the right to turn off electronic work equipment during off-hours, the Canadian federal government has reviewed labor standards and worked for workers when they were at home in 2018. I started to consider whether to give the right to ignore related messages.

A committee convened in October was expected to analyze this issue and provide recommendations to then-Minister of Labor Filomena Tassi in the spring.

Michelle Johnston, Head of Communications for New Labor Minister Seamus O’Regan, did not confirm whether the recommendation had been received so far, but said in an email that “work on this file is ongoing.” rice field.

However, Quebec and Ontario are not waiting for federal regulation.

Ontario received a royal assent on December 2 for a new “right to disconnect” bill. This requires employers with 25 or more staff to develop policies to disconnect from work within the next six months, but does not specify a scenario that the company needs to address.

“This would be a very good law to look at on the shelves, but it doesn’t have a lot of teeth,” predicted Sunira Chaudhri, a partner at Workly Law in Toronto.

She feels that the law is difficult to enforce and will cause a wave of complaints from workers who complete the task long after the shift is over to the Ministry of Labor.

Inspired by Ontario, Quebec aims to be tougher.

The Quebec Solidea Party submitted a bill in December, requiring companies to share a weekly “duration during which employees are eligible to be disconnected from all work-related communications.” Non-compliant employers will be charged $ 100,000.

Chaudhri was not required to develop a disconnection policy until Ontario and Quebec moved towards legislation.

She knows a company that previously implemented rules for electronic messaging during non-business hours, but was told that the policy was largely ignored by employees. She fears the same thing will happen when the law is in force.

“Policies are as powerful as employees actually implement them,” says Chaudhri.

“If the employer creates them and puts them in a drawer and never sees them again, it’s really a risk here.”

For Zensurance, future legislation will hardly change. Zensurance is already clear about its policy and has designated on-call workers in case of emergencies such as cyber attacks or system outages.

However, this process can be more tedious for companies starting from scratch.

Under what circumstances should they be exempt from the ban on non-business hours messages, what to do with people who violate or violate policies, and how expectations vary by department or industry. You need to consider.

For example, people on the factory floor may find it easy to quit their jobs, but healthcare professionals, lawyers, and realtors often call or encounter issues that aren’t delayed after hours. It will be difficult to do.

However, Anthony Kaul wants workers to focus on clarity and not prevent employers from setting expectations about the right to disconnect due to complexity.

The co-founder of CloudDX, based in Kitchener, Ontario, will leave work messages unanswered to staff at his health technology company during off-hours unless emergency on-call staff cannot handle them. Has been encouraging for a long time.

Since the cowl is a “family member”, the informal policy has evolved “naturally”, but it is also part of the company’s roots.

“There really isn’t a culture of people who have mobile phones connected to the cloud or email next to their bed at 9pm,” he said.

“We are here to improve the health care of all. That is our mission, including our own people. We cannot drive them to the ground. “



Working from home during a coronavirus pandemic puts the “right to disconnect” law in the limelight.

Source link Working from home during a coronavirus pandemic puts the “right to disconnect” law in the limelight.

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