Developing a work from home policy

Over the past few years, remote work became the norm for businesses across Canada. And while many businesses have returned to in-person work, remote work is still common across the workforce. If your business employs remote employees, it’s essential you develop a policy that sets expectations for remote employees and ensures compliance with the Employment Standards Act (ESA).

What your remote work policy should include:

  • Hours of work.
  • A virtual process for providing and receiving feedback.
  • A means to contact/receive IT support when working from home.
  • Which positions are permitted to work from home.
  • An equipment policy (e.g. electronics).
  • Your responsibilities to health & safety while employees are working from home.
  • Security guidelines while working at home (e.g. rules for WI-Fi networks used).

And for employers in Ontario with 25 or more employees, you are required to have a written Electronic Monitoring Policy and a Right to Disconnect Policy in place.  These policies must be in place by March 1st of a given year, and a copy of both policies must be provided to all employees. A description of both policies should be outlined in your remote work policy.

Electronic Monitoring policy

Your Electronic Monitoring Policy communicates if and how you plan to electronically monitor your employee’s activity.

Your Electronic Monitoring Policy should include:

  • A description of how the employer may monitor employees and the circumstances in which this would be done.
  • The reasons this information may be used by the employer.
  • The date the policy was drafted (Must include the day, month, and year).
  • If any changes are made to the policy, they must be dated.

Disconnect From Work policy

When working from home first became common, many employees felt a lack of boundaries, given that their work and home life were in the same location. To deal with this, the provincial government now requires that employers with 25 or more employees develop a Disconnect From Work policy.

This policy must:

  • Apply to all employees.
  • Be in place by March 1st of a given year/timeframe.
  • Address the expectations of employees to view or respond to work-related emails/phone calls after working hours and “out of office” notifications when not scheduled for work.
  • State the date it was drafted, and if any changes are made, those changes must be dated.
  • Comply with the ESA.

Need help developing a remote work policy?

If you have employees who work from home, it’s essential you have a remote work policy in place. Our experts can help you develop a remote work policy, or any other HR policy you may need. Call Employer Line today at 1-888-247-3650 to speak with an expert.