Report: Business Board - May 16, 2022

Via Virtual Meeting room


Monday, May 16, 2022

To the Governing Council,
University of Toronto

Your Business Board reports that it held a virtual meeting on Monday, May 16, 2022 at 5:00 p.m. with the following members:

In Attendance:
Anna Kennedy (Chair), Sandra Hanington (Vice-Chair), Kelly Hannah-Moffat, Vice-President, People Strategy, Equity and Culture, Trevor Rodgers, Chief Financial Officer, Olenka Baron, Harvey Botting, David Bowden, Teodora Dechev, K. Sonu Gaind, Maureen Harquail, Thomas Hofmann, Paul Huyer, Sarosh Jamal, Kathryn A. Jenkins, Amin Kamaleddin, Evan Kanter, Rajiv Mathur, David Regan, Danielle Skipp,  Nhung Tran, Ian Taylor, Geeta Yadav

Janet Cloud, Alicia Damley, Sue Graham-Nutter, Scott Mabury, Samra Zafar

Sheree Drummond, Secretary of the Governing Council, Timothy Harlick, Assistant-Secretary of the Governing Council, Patrick F. McNeill, Secretary

Non-Voting Assessors
Cheryl Regehr, Vice-President and Provosts, David Palmer, Vice-President, Advancement, Jeff Lennon, Interim Assistant Vice-President, Planning and Budget, Deborah Brown, Chief Administrative Officer, UTM, Susan McCahan, Vice-Provost, Academic Programs, 
Heather Boon, Vice-Provost, Faculty and Academic Life

In Attendance
Erin Jackson, Chief Human Resources Officer, PSEC, Ihab Khalil, Executive Director, Strategic Operations and Finance, PSEC, Cherilyn Nobleza, Executive Director, HR Transformation & Analytics, PSEC, Andrea Russell, Director, Academic Affairs, Office of the Vice-President and Provost


  1. Chair’s Remarks 

    The Chair welcomed members and guests to the Special Meeting of the Board.
  2. Policy on Disconnecting from Work

    Professor Kelly-Hannah-Moffat, Vice-President, People Strategy, Equity and Culture introduced the item and stated the following:
  • The Provincial government tabled Bill 27 – the Working for Workers Act – as part of a package of employee-friendly legislative changes in 2021;
  • Bill 27 amended the Employment Standards Act to include a requirement that employers with more than 25 employees put in place a policy affirming that workers could be free from work-related communication;
  • The legislation was inspired by a culture of overwork and overload, both within University and in many other employers. These issues were compounded over the course of the pandemic, when many workers had to work from home, and lines between home and work blurred;
  • The proposed Policy needed to be in place by June 2, 2022 and applied to all employees – the University was required to provide a copy of the Policy to all employees within 30 days of its adoption;
  • Under the legislation, “disconnecting” means “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”; this means is that employees were not expected to do work outside of when they’re meant to be working;
  • At U of T, work requirements are set out in existing provisions of policies and collective agreements such as hours of work, vacation, etc.;
  • The Policy would not impede a manager’s right to schedule hours of work, nor does it mean that staff engaged in crises or issues management would be prevented from managing such items; and,
  • Implementation of the Policy would provide the opportunity to begin educating the tri-campus community on how to better manage expectations on when and how work was performed.

    In response to Members’ questions and comments, Professor Hannah-Moffat stated the following:
  • the PSEC portfolio would be providing further resources, training, tools and support to managers and employees in order to clarify job performance and work expectation – this would be communicated to all University administrative and teaching staff;
  • all institutions with 25 or more employees would require a policy based on the legislative directive – PSEC, Divisional leaders, Unit Managers and the administration would monitor its implementation – and deal with issues as they arise.

    In closing, Professor Hannah-Moffat said the University welcomed the Policy.

    On a motion duly moved, seconded, and carried

    It was Resolved

    THAT the Policy on Disconnecting from Work as outlined in the Memorandum dated May 10, 2022, from the Professor Kelly Hannah-Moffat, Vice-President, People Strategy, Equity and Culture be approved to be effective immediately.
  1. Date of the Next Meeting – Tuesday, June 21, 2022

    The Chair reminded members that the date of the next regular Business Board meeting was Tuesday, June 21, 2022 at 5:00 p.m. (in-person).

    The Chair thanked members for their attendance and participation in the Special Business Board virtual meeting.

The meeting adjourned at 5:13 p.m.

May 17, 2022