Until now, Ontario’s labor laws haven't recognized remote workers. And that means they haven’t been protected during widespread economic uncertainty. Yet, around 1.4 million people in the province work from home exclusively.
In other words, remote workers’ rights have been swept under the rug. But that’s about to change. The Canadian province has recently announced an update to its labor laws. And remote workers stand to benefit.
New Ontario laws will give remote workers more stability
If the law passes, remote employees will receive the same notice period as office workers during mass layoffs. This law will provide much-needed reassurance to many as the tech industry continues to navigate choppy waters.
“Whether you commute to work every day or not shouldn’t determine what you are owed,” says Ontario’s Minister of Labour, Immigration, Training and Skill Development, Monte McNaughton. “No billion-dollar company should be treating their remote employees as second-class.”
So, what does this mean for the future of remote work in Ontario and beyond?
Lawmakers will shape the future of work
It seems the tide is turning. Remote work isn’t just a fad—it’s here to stay. And policymakers are starting to recognize that.
“Millions of people around the globe are choosing to work remotely. The benefits for both businesses and employees are huge,” says Irene, Head of People at Omnipresent. “But many governments are yet to catch up with this trend,”
“So it’s really positive to see that Ontario is making adjustments to reflect the changing times. It gives remote workers the protection they deserve—and need. I expect this to happen more and more now, especially as teams become increasingly international.”
Global change is on the horizon
The good news is that change is already underway in many countries. Governments worldwide are making sure that remote workers don't become an afterthought.
In Argentina, employers must reimburse employees for remote work expenses, such as internet costs. Greece has given remote employees the right to disconnect after working hours. Peru has introduced legislation to give teleworkers and onsite employees the same rights. And the list goes on.
A new wave of employment laws is here to protect the future of work. And the future is all about flexibility.