The Government of Ontario has passed Bill-27, legislation which amends Ontario's Employment Standards Act, to help employees disconnect from the office and bans employers from entering into non-competition agreements with their employees.

These legislative changes to Ontario's employment landscape are widely expected to give workers greater freedoms and benefit those who choose to leave their current employer to take a new job with a competitor. In particular, the right to disconnect has captured the attention of employees who have experienced a blurred line between work and personal time, and among employers who are seeing a rise in employee burn-out.

A recent KPMG in Canada survey of more than 1,000 Canadians in early November found that:

  • 70 per cent believe governments should require employers to have "right-to-disconnect" policies
  • More than half (55 per cent) agree that governments should enact laws that ban non-compete employment clauses

"The Ontario government's passage of Bill 27 establishes landmark laws for a changing workplace reality," says Lisa Cabel, National Leader, Employment & Labour Law, KPMG Law. "Given the rise of hybrid work and the trend toward working from anywhere, this legislation requires employers to put in place 'disconnecting from work' policies and prohibits them from entering into non-compete agreements with most employees.

As this legislation comes into effect, employers are well-advised to evaluate their workplace policies and practices to ensure they meet these new obligations. We also anticipate that these changes may be an incentive for remote employees working in other provinces and territories - or even outside of Canada - to consider relocating to Ontario." adds Cabel.

Ontario is the first province or jurisdiction in Canada, and one of the first in North America, to legislatively ban non-compete agreements in employment, with some exceptions. Does this mean other Canadian jurisdictions will soon follow suit? In practical terms, how will businesses implement the right to disconnect and incorporate into their employment policies?

About KPMG in Canada

KPMG LLP, a limited liability partnership, is a full-service Audit, Tax and Advisory firm owned and operated by Canadians. For over 150 years, our professionals have provided consulting, accounting, auditing, and tax services to Canadians, inspiring confidence, empowering change, and driving innovation. Guided by our core values of Integrity, Excellence, Courage, Together, For Better, KPMG employs nearly 8,000 people in over 40 locations across Canada, serving private- and public-sector clients. KPMG is consistently ranked one of Canada's top employers and one of the best places to work in the country.

The firm is established under the laws of Ontario and is a member of KPMG's global organization of independent member firms affiliated with KPMG International, a private English company limited by guarantee. Each KPMG firm is a legally distinct and separate entity and describes itself as such. For more information, see home.kpmg/ca.

If you are interested in speaking to a KPMG employment law professional about these issues and other recent employment and workplace developments, please contact:

Nancy J. White
National Communications and Media Relations
KPMG in Canada
(416) 777-3306
nancywhite@kpmg.ca