Proposed amendments to the Employment Standards Act, 2000 for requirement for policies on Electronic Monitoring.

Regulation Number(s):
Instrument Type:
Bill or Act:
Employment Standards Act, 2000
Summary of Proposal:
As technology evolves and more employees are required to use electronic devices, such as desktop and laptop computers, mobile phones, GPS devices and various types of sensor-embedded equipment and wearables in their day-to-day work, concerns about electronic monitoring by employers have become increasingly prevalent.

Many employees may be unaware that they are being monitored. These concerns have been elevated by the vastly increased use of remote work spurred by the pandemic.

Ontario is embracing the future of work and advancing proposals that are intended to help improve working conditions for Ontario workers. By bringing this proposal forward, MLTSD is building on the government's recent actions to protect and support workers through the Working for Workers Act, 2021.

The ministry is proposing amendments to the ESA that, if passed, would require employers that employ 25 or more employees to have a written policy on the electronic monitoring of employees in place by March 1.

The policy would have to contain certain information, such as:

• a description of how and in what circumstances the employer may electronically monitor employees,
• the purposes for which information obtained may be used, and
• the date the policy was made or the date any changes were made to the policy.

Employers would have to provide a copy of the written policy to each of its employees within 30 days of creating or changing the policy.

The requirement would be slightly different for employees assigned through a temporary help agency. Their employer (the agency) would have to provide a copy of the agency's policy, and the client business would also have to provide a copy of its policy.

Employers would have to keep records of their policies.

The policy would include electronic monitoring of employees at the workplace, as well as electronic monitoring of employees who work remotely at home or under a hybrid approach.

If the ESA amendments are passed, employers that are required to develop a policy would have six months from the day the proposed amendments receive Royal Assent to comply with this requirement.
Analysis of Regulatory Impact:
The proposed amendments would add a new requirement for employers with 25 or more employees.

These employers would incur costs for the development of a written policy on electronic monitoring. This would be a one-time cost of coming into compliance with the proposed legislation. Once this cost is incurred, ongoing costs would be relatively small, but employers do have the option to amend their policies in the future.

This proposal could benefit both individual employees and organizations, given the rise in new technologies that allow employers to monitor and track employees and as the nature and location of our work continues to evolve, with many workers now working from home. Putting in place clear policies on electronic monitoring would ensure that employers are transparent about the electronic monitoring of their employees and would position Ontario as a leader in progressive and worker-friendly policies, which would help attract the best talent to Ontario.

Employers would have the flexibility to develop a policy that is appropriate to their operational requirements.
Further Information:
Proposal Number:
22-MLTSD 006
Posting Date:
February 28, 2022
Comments Due Date:
March 30, 2022
Contact Address:
Employment, Labour, and Corporate Policy Branch
Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development
400 University Avenue, 15th Floor
Toronto ON M7A 1T7