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TLDSB to adopt a disconnecting from work policy

DAN CEARNS, The Standard

KAWARTHA LAKES: In compliance with Ontario provincial regulations and to help create a better workplace for their employees, the Trillium Lakelands District School Board (TLDSB) has adopted a ‘Disconnecting from Work Policy.’

The Ontario government defines Disconnecting from work as “not engaging in work-related communications, including emails, telephone calls, video calls or sending or reviewing other messages, to be free from the performance of work.”

In recent times, many people across Ontario have chosen to work from home and/or complete extended work hours from home. This has been enabled by advancements in communications technologies and in particular the internet, computer and phone technologies. But a problem which has reportedly surfaced due to this advancement is the inability to then disconnect from work, with governments concerned about an increase of work exhaustion and burn out.

Superintendent Traci Hubbert explained at a Committee of the Whole board meeting, on Tuesday, May 10th, this policy was created after the province introduced requirements last year for any employer with 25 or more employees to create this type of policy.

“The legislation requires the policy to apply to both employees and management. The policy was created by Trustee [Judy] Saunders and members of the human resources services department, and then reviewed by unions and federation representatives,” she said.

Superintendent Hubbert also explained the potential benefits of the policy.

“The policy, in partnership with the procedure, will hopefully help to encourage all employees to have a healthy life and work balance. It’s a new policy, which will be reviewed moving forward on a five-year cycle.”

Trustee Saunders spoke about the policy, “I’m very happy to put this forward. I was really happy to work on this policy.”

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