Bill 27: How the New Disconnect Policy Can Impact Condo Board Responsiveness

Bill 27

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If your condo board is like many, you created a hybrid work environment during the pandemic. However, the remote workforce had the Ontario government struggling with labour laws suited to this uncharted landscape. As a result, they passed Bill 27. Here’s what it is and how it can impact your board’s responsiveness.

What is Bill 27?

Bill 27 is the Working for Workers Act, passed in December 2021. The Bill protects workers from unfair policies. This includes expecting employees to remain connected via cell phones and other devices after work hours.

The Disconnect from Work Policy

Employers with 25 or more employees now require a written policy regarding “disconnecting” from work. The government defines this as:

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

You must complete your policy by June 2, 2022 if you meet this criteria as of January 1, 2022.

Disruption of Work

The need to respond to residents in a timely manner means having people available after traditional business hours. Work demands therefore often take place in real-time, something the new disconnect policy does not allow. Looking at how you handle resident responses can help. A schedule that ensures no one person is responsible for real-time responses helps balance workload while avoiding disruptions of workflow. This includes both resident need and communication regarding ongoing projects.

Improved Staff Management

Defining work hours based on key roles helps ensure you remain compliant with the Bill. However, technology can also help reduce demand on staff after hours. For example, using auto responses via social media, text and emails provides a timely response until staff are back on duty. In the case of emergencies, a property management company can provide 24/7 response without interfering with compliance to new labour laws.

Rethinking the Typical Workday

Shift work can also keep the property staffed to meet need. Many roles must be conducted on site such as cleaning and maintenance, while other jobs such as fielding questions or taking complaints can be managed via a remote “night” shift. Streamlining your processes, adapting suitable technology, and looking for ways to reconfigure how tasks are carried out help you rethink the typical workday.

Fair Treatment

Finally, property managers and condo boards must ensure they treat employees equally. You can’t show preference to those okay with remaining connected over those who prefer to disconnect. Your new policies therefore need to work in favour of your entire team ensuring the choice to disconnect is accepted without reprisal.

Understanding how the Working for Workers Act impacts day to day operations is crucial to your condo board. You can adopt a plan with minimal impact on your residents, while respecting the rights of your workforce.

The condo experts at CPO Management Inc, a property management company in Toronto and the GTA, have had tremendous success helping condo corporations identify ways to improve condo operations and business models. Reach out to us today to learn more about our condo services.

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