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Electronic Monitoring and Employee Privacy

As more and more Canadians make the shift to remote work, employers must contend with new rules governing their ability to monitor their teams electronically. Is your business prepared?

New obligations for Ontario employers

With the passage of Bill 88 in April 2022, Ontario's Employment Standards Act, 2000 (ESA) was amended to include new obligations for many Ontario employers to have written "electronic monitoring" policy. While the electronic monitoring policy additions to the ESA under Bill 88 may be the first step in changing the landscape of employee privacy laws in Ontario, we expect further (and possibly substantial) changes will be seen through any regulations that follow.

How can employers prepare?

Employers without an electronic monitoring policy should begin thinking about one now, as such policies typically take time, as well as discussion with multiple stakeholders, to develop effectively.

Ontario employers that already have electronic monitoring policies in place or operate in several provinces — particularly Alberta, British Columbia and Quebec — should review their existing policies to determine if Bill 88 requires them to make changes.


Key dates

October 11, 2022
Provincially-regulated employers in Ontario with 25 or more employees as of Jan. 1, 2022, must have an electronic monitoring policy by this date.
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April 11, 2022
Ontario's Bill 88, Working for Workers Act, 2022, receives Royal Assent, presenting several changes for Ontario employers, including with respect to electronic monitoring.
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February 24, 2022
Ontario announces legislation requiring employers to tell workers "if and how they are being monitored electronically."
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December 2021
In a report titled Modernizing British Columbia's Private Sector Privacy Laws, a special committee appointed by B.C.'s Legislative Assembly recommended the creation of a distinct section in B.C.'s Personal Information Protection Act, SBC 2003, dedicated to employee privacy.
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September 21, 2021
Quebec adopts Bill 64 An Act to modernize legislative provisions as regards the protection of personal information, putting into effect new requirements for how businesses collect and protect personal information – including that of their employees.


Get in touch

Gowling WLG's Employment, Labour & Equalities Group can help you draft an electronic monitoring policy that complies with current and incoming legislation.

Contact us today