As part of the “Working for Workers Act 2022” passed in April 2022, the Employment Standards Act has been updated to include a requirement for workplaces with more than 25 employees to disclose how, when and why the employer uses electronic methods to monitor employees.
The deadline for implementing your workplace’s policy is October 11, 2022. Thereafter, each year in January you will need to assess your workplace and if you have 25 or more employees, you must implement an Electronic Monitoring Policy by March of that year. You must also provide your employees with a copy of the initial policy, and updates as they occur.
As an example, if your company uses GPS on service vehicles, you will need to disclose to the employees using those vehicles how the GPS data will be used. Do you track their speed? Do you use the data to track where and when they go (i.e., taking breaks or visiting clients)?
This new law applies to all electronic and video surveillance techniques, and monitoring of phone and computer use, including emails and websites.
The new policy applies to all employees including Management and CEOs, so you may need to have multiple policies or special provisions to meet operational needs. As an example, you may have different forms of electronic monitoring on your finance workers than would be used on your production workers.
It is important to note that the ESA does not limit the ways in which an employer can use the information obtained by electronic monitoring. For example, if a video surveillance camera is installed in a workplace to monitor forklift traffic, and the camera captures someone stealing something from the workplace, the employer is able to use the camera footage as part of the discipline process for the person stealing.