Ontario Passes Bill 27, Working for Workers Act

On November 30, 2021, the Ontario government passed Bill 27, Working for Workers Act, 2021 (“Bill 27”). The Bill received Royal Assent on December 2, 2021.

We reviewed Bill 27 in detail in our recent update.

Prohibition on Non-Compete Agreements: New Exception

The prohibition against non-compete agreements was amended before being enacted to include an exception for employment agreements with an “executive”. An “executive” is defined as any person who holds the office of chief executive officer, president, chief administrative officer, chief operating officer, chief financial officer, chief information officer, chief legal officer, chief human resources officer or chief corporate development officer, or any other chief executive position.

The prohibition against non-compete agreements is deemed retroactive to October 25, 2021. Employers should review their contracts to remove any impermissible non-compete clauses.

Right to Disconnect

Bill 27 requires employers with 25 or more employees to have a written policy with respect to disconnecting from work. The phrase “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”.

Employers will have until June 2, 2022 to implement such policies. The Regulations setting out the required content of such policies have not yet been published. We will provide further updates when those details become available.

Additional Licensing Requirements for Recruiters

Bill 27 also amends the Employment Protection for Foreign Nationals Act, 2009 to prohibit recruiters and employers from knowingly using the services of a recruiter who has charged a fee to a foreign national. Recruiter licensing requirements have also been updated to require recruiters to formally acknowledge this prohibition.

For more information about how Bill 27 will impact your workplace, please contact your regular lawyer at Rae Christen Jeffries LLP.