Sample disconnecting from work policy

Note: This sample policy has been provided by Imagine Canada.

Purpose

Imagine Canada is committed to the values of Accountability, Care and Drive. This includes promoting a healthy work environment for employees and supporting employees’ right to a clear separation between work and personal activities.

Policy

Imagine Canada employees have the right to disconnect from their job and any work-related tasks or communications outside of their work hours. Work hours total 35 hours per week, with start and end times to be agreed upon by individual employees and their supervisors. No employee will suffer reprisal or other disciplinary action for refusing or not responding to communications outside work hours.

Employee start and end times differ from person to person and from day to day. As well, customers and other stakeholders may communicate with us at any time whatsoever. As a result, electronic communications may well occur outside an employee’s individual work hours, however, this does not obligate them to immediately respond to any communication.

Policy Considerations

In the exceptional case of an emergency, employees should use their judgement to connect with other employees after work hours. Imagine Canada is committed to a safe and productive work space.

If an employee cannot complete work during the regular work day, it is important for supervisors or employees to discuss how best to cover the work or reschedule deadlines.

Definitions

Electronic communications: This includes emails, texts, phone calls, and social media platforms used by the company. It would also include communications on an electronic platform not associated with work (e.g. Facebook) but where a coworker may discuss work related activities or deliverables.

Please also refer to definitions in the IT Acceptable Use Policy.

Responsibilities

Leadership Council

  • The Leadership Council should support the Disconnecting from Work Policy through example, using discretion to avoid initiating email and other electronic communications well outside of common work hours.
  • The Impact Team will review workloads across the organization on a regular basis to mitigate circumstances where deliverables may cause employees to work after hours.

Supervisors

  • Supervisors should use their discretion to model the Disconnect Policy and not engage in electronic communication well outside of common working hours, i.e. late at night, on weekends and during vacations, with the exception of an emergency need to contact an employee.
  • Supervisors are responsible for delegating workload, managing performance, and ensuring a safe and productive workplace, to allow employees to disconnect from work.
  • Supervisors should also discourage after-hour communication when it happens within the team, and work with employees who use electronic communications after hours.

Employees

  • Employees should avoid requiring a response from their colleagues outside of work hours unless agreed in advance or in the case of an emergency.
  • Employees should also speak to their supervisor if workloads are expected to exceed normal work hours.

Questions

If an employee is unsure how to handle a situation, they should speak to their supervisor or the VP, Finance and Operations for guidance.

References

Reference any other policies, documents, or legislation that support the interpretation of this policy.

Effective Date

Indicate the date the policy came into effect and the date of any revisions.

Review Date

Indicate the date the policy is due to be reviewed. This will vary based upon the policy.

Approval

Indicate who approved the policy and the date of approval (for example, the board, the human resources policy committee, the executive director).

Recommendation

Visit our article on Drafting an HR Policy to learn more about developing HR policies.

Disclaimer

Important: This document is an example of a policy for a small to medium-size nonprofit organization operating in Canada. While certain assumptions have been made in the creation of this policy, it is your responsibility to adapt, modify, and customize the document to suit the particular needs of your organization.

The content of this sample policy is provided for information purposes only. No legal liability or other responsibility is accepted by or on behalf of HR Intervals, Imagine Canada, or its partners for any errors, omissions, or statements made within this document. HR Intervals, Imagine Canada, and its partners accept no responsibility for any loss, damage or inconvenience caused as a result of reliance on such information.

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