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Canada Exploring Law That Gives You the Right to Disconnect From Work at Home

Emails. Slack notifications. Trello board invites. Google calendar appointments. Whatever the hell Asana wants from you now. These are all part of work life in 2018.

But there’s a point where you should leave it all behind. Namely, when you leave work.

We’ve come to expect that work often extends beyond the office and trickles into our homes. But a revision to Canada’s labour legislation that’s due next year will consider implementing a ‘right to disconnect’ law that would allow workers to turn off their work phones and laptops at home.

A similar measure was introduced in France in May of 2016, which made it illegal for companies to expect their employees to reply to work emails on weekends or holidays.

The move is inspired by year-long consultations that revealed concerns over a lack of work-life balance in Canadians’ lives. Such is life with bills to pay. “People were saying things have to be fairer, things have to be more predictable and we need time…to spend with our families,” said Labour Minister Patty Hajdu in announcing the impending legislative update. “Ultimately, at the end of the day, the code is there to protect the most vulnerable in the workplace.”

It should be noted that the law will only cover workers in federally-regulated fields. I wonder if that applies to City of Toronto workers who are paid below minimum wage.

The ‘right to disconnect’ law is just one amendment to Canada’s labour policy, which hasn’t been revised since the 70s. Which is probably just how Ontario premier Doug Ford likes it.

Christian Nathler

Christian Nathler is a contributing writer at Notable Life.