The Electronical Monitoring of Employees  

Are you electronically spying… ahem …we mean “monitoring” your employees? Well, you will be pleased to know that nothing under the Employment Standards Act, 2000 (Ontario) (“ESA”) prevents you from doing so.

It is not uncommon in this digital age for employers to monitor employee emails, phone calls and even GPS track their company vehicles. This can be done for a variety of reasons including those we often hear when we order a pizza: “for quality control and training purposes.”  

However, on April 11, 2022, the ESA was amended to create new obligations regarding the use of electronic monitoring. Now, any employers with 25 or more employees must have an Electronic Monitoring Policy in place.

This policy must be prepared and provided to employees by no later than November 10, 2022.

While the ESA does not contain a definition of “electronic monitoring” for purposes of this policy, the legal definition usually used by the Courts includes all forms of employee and assignment employee monitoring that is done electronically. Yes, it is meant to be a catch-all.

For those employers that do conduct electronic monitoring – your policy must describe the type of monitoring you do, and its specific purpose.

Some of you may be wondering whether you need to do anything if you have 25 or more employees but don’t engage in any electronic monitoring. Unfortunately, this policy applies to you as well. If you do not do any electronic monitoring, but you have 25 or more employees, you must have a policy confirming that you do not engage in any electronic monitoring.

As the deadline for this policy looms closer, don’t wait any longer to reach out to us to get an electronic policy for your workplace.

Robin K. Mann, Associate Lawyer