Disconnect from Work Policy
Policy No. 01/22
Date Approved: June 1, 2022
Reporting Requirement: As set out in section 7 below
Legislative Authority: Part VII.0.1 – Written Policy on Disconnecting from Work of the Employment Standards Act, S.O. 2000, c. 41 as amended
1. POLICY STATEMENT
The Regional Municipality of York Police Services Board (“the Board”) is committed to supporting the health and well-being of its staff by encouraging staff to disconnect from work outside their standard work hours.
Policy requirements set out in this document shall form part of the Police Services Board Policy Manual and the Chief of Police shall comply with these requirements in directing the York Regional Police Service (“YRP”).
This policy is required under Part VII.0.1 of the Employment Standards Act, 2000 (“ESA”) which mandates that all employers employing 25 or more employees as of January 1, 2022, must implement a disconnecting from work policy by June 2, 2022.
This policy also requires that the Chief of Police takes steps to ensure that YRP policies, practices and procedures are compliant with the requirements of Pt VII.0.1 under the ESA by June 2, 2022.
This policy applies to the Board staff and all members of YRP, volunteers, agents and other persons working on behalf of YRP and the Board.
Although Part VII.0.1 of the ESA applies to civilian members only, YRP and the Board are committed to the health and well-being of all members and as such, is extending its Disconnecting from Work Policy to include sworn members of the Police Service.
Call Back: the calling back of staff to work after they have reported off work and before their next scheduled period of work excluding:
- any additional work hours where has been previously scheduled or agreed to or where 72 hours’ notice has been given and confirmed between a manager and staff;
- being called back not more than one hour before a staff member’s next scheduled period of work or where the staff member is given compensating time off at the end of such period of work; and
- disciplinary matters.
Disconnect from Work: Not engaging in work-related communications, including emails, telephone calls, video calls or sending or reviewing messages, so as to be free from the expectation of performance of work.
Staff: Board staff, volunteers, agents and other persons working on behalf of the Board.
Standard Work Hours: the schedule that staff is assigned based on the operational requirements of the Board or YRP as per the terms and conditions of a staff member’s employment agreement, applicable collective agreement, and/or the statutory entitlements under the ESA.
The Board will adopt policies as required under the ESA and will update this policy as necessary to maintain compliance.
5.1 The Chief of Police will ensure that:
- All requirements of Pt. VII.0.1 of the ESA are being met on an ongoing basis;
- Practices and procedures are aligned with Pt. VII.0.1 of the ESA; and
- Copies of this policy and any amended versions of the policy are provided to staff within 30 days of approval or amendment.
5.2 Management personnel shall:
- Ensure that staff are able to disconnect from work outside of their standard work hours; and
- Be mindful of the time communications are sent with respect to operational requirements that may require communication outside standard work hours.
5.3 Staff shall:
- Take reasonable steps to effectively manage their work- and work-related communication(s) during their standard work hours;
- Be mindful of other staff’s standard work hours by not expecting work related contact outside of those work hours;
- Make use of out of office notifications to communicate their non-work hours and absence from work and; and
- Notify their supervisor if they have concerns surrounding their work time and/or are unable to disconnect from work.
The provision of a mobile phone, laptop, tablet or other portable electronic communication device, (“portable device”) are to allow staff greater flexibility in completing their employment duties.
The possession of a portable device does not imply that staff are expected to make themselves available to work- or work-related communications outside of their standard working hours, subject to the operational needs and a staff member’s duties.
Emails, voice mails, instant messaging applications and other communication formats should only be used or checked by staff during their standard work hours, with the understanding that work schedules may differ across the organization. Senders should consider the timing of their communications and understand that the recipient will not be expected to respond until they return to work.
Staff should consider using available digital tools for managing the delivery of communications, such as the delay delivery function in Microsoft Outlook, or indicate within their message that the recipient is not expected to respond outside their standard work hours.
7. COMPLIANCE AND RETENTION
The Board will:
- Review this policy by March 1 of each year to ensure continued compliance with the ESA.
- Ensure that copies of this policy, including any subsequent revisions, are retained for a period of three years after the policy ceases to be in effect.
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