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Disconnecting from Work Policy

Classification number ADM 1323
Framework category Administrative
Approving authority President
Policy owner Chief Transformation and Organization Culture Officer
Approval date May 25, 2022
Review date May 2025


The purpose of this Policy is to affirm the University’s commitment to supporting the health and well-being of its Employees, particularly through the University’s compliance with the Provincial directive to convey the University’s expectations to Employees with respect to disconnecting from work.

The Working for Workers Act, 2021, Schedule 2 (the “Act”), requires certain employers to introduce a written policy informing Employees of the workplace’s approach to disconnecting from work. The Act recognizes a value enshrined by the University, namely, the importance of employee well-being.

To that end, the University encourages its Employees to achieve a healthy and sustainable work-life balance.  The University acknowledges that the achievement of this balance necessitates the cultivation and maintenance of a workplace culture that respects employees’ rights to disconnect from work outside of their working hours, which may vary in a unique academic context.  This Policy affirms the University’s support of such a workplace culture.


For the purposes of this Policy the following definitions apply:

“Disconnecting from work” means to not engage 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 outside of working hours.

“Employee or Employees” are those individuals who are considered employees of the University under the Ontario Employment Standards Act, 2000 (the “ESA”);

Scope and authority

This Policy applies to all University Employees while providing service to the University.

It is noted that an Employee’s ability to disconnect from work depends on the University’s business and/or operational needs and the duties and obligations of the Employee’s position. 


University Obligations

  1. While this Policy does not preclude University Employees from contacting individuals (including other Employees or vendors/third parties) for work-related purposes outside of what may be considered working hours, the University supports and aims to foster a workplace culture that promotes and values disconnecting from work. Consequently, the University will take steps to:

    • inform Employees of their regular working hours, where applicable;
    • encourage Employees to be mindful and respectful of the time when other Employees—including those without formally designated hours of work---can reasonably expect to disconnect from work;
    • encourage Employees to make best efforts to refrain from contacting other Employees for work-related purposes at such times, and,
    • request that managers, or, as appropriate, HR services, respond to questions or concerns regarding disconnecting from work from Employees.

Employee Obligations

  1. Employees are expected to undertake the following with respect to their work:

    • To co-operate fully with any mechanisms, if applicable, utilised by the University to record working time or to update their working status, including when working remotely, flexibly or when mobile,
    • to be mindful of other Employees’ working hours, and their time outside such hours; and,
    • to raise any concerns or issues they may have which they feel are impacting their ability to disconnect from work;
    • to make best efforts to refrain from routinely emailing or calling outside of working hours or expecting answers or responses outside working hours.

Disconnecting From Work – Supports and Resources

  1. If Employees have questions or concerns that they feel are impacting their ability to disconnect from work, they are encouraged to raised these matters with their manager or, where appropriate, HR services.

  2. The University offers a variety of supports and resources to promote a healthy workplace. Resources can be found online at:  

  3. Employees are also encouraged to seek professional and/or medical assistance as they see fit if such circumstances impact upon their health and wellbeing, and, in particular, to access the University’s Employee Family Assistance Program as needed:

Posting, Notice and Retention

  1. The University will provide a copy of this Policy to all new Employees upon onboarding.

  2. The University will retain a copy of this Policy and any revised version of this Policy for a period of at least three years after it ceases to be in effect.

Monitoring and review

This Policy will be reviewed as necessary and at least every three years. The Chief Transformation and Organization Culture Officer, or successor thereof, is responsible to monitor and review this Policy.

Relevant legislation

Ontario Working for Workers Act, 2021, S.O. 2021, c. 35 - Bill 27

Ontario Employment Standards Act, 2000, S.O. 2000, c. 41

Ontario Occupational Health and Safety Act, R.S.O. 1990, c. O.1

Related policies, procedures & documents

Exempt Academic Staff Employment Policy

Deans, Associate Deans and Teaching Staff Governors Procedures

Non-Academic Staff Employment Policies