Canada: Federal Government Considering “Right to Disconnect”
Canada’s federal government held a broad public consultation with a view to updating the Canada Labour Code, which sets out minimum labour standards for federally regulated employers.
The consultation report, which was published on August 30, 2018, disclosed that 93% of online respondents supported giving employees the right to refuse to respond to work-related emails, phone calls or messages outside working hours. Employer respondents indicated that being available and on-call is sometimes a requirement in workplaces with continuous operations, such as those that have national and international operations and run on a 24/7 schedule.
While the federal government has not committed to introducing a “right to disconnect” as part of its revamp of the Canada Labour Code, the Minister of Employment, Workforce Development & Labour has indicated that the anticipated changes will address work-life balance, and target the most precarious workers.