Disconnecting from Work, Policy on [May 16, 2022]

University of Toronto Governing Council

Policy on Disconnecting from Work


Approval Date May 16, 2022
Approving Authority  Business Board
Effective Date May 16, 2022
Responsible Office Vice-President, People Strategy, Equity & Culture
Next Review Date  


The University of Toronto as part of its academic mission is committed to fostering workplace excellence by establishing and maintaining a workplace culture that supports employees’ well-being through development of tools and resources to help leaders and employees manage work in positive ways. As part of these resources, the policy on disconnecting from work is intended to help leaders and employees manage workplace stresses due to workload, overwork, and an inability to disconnect from the workplace outside of an employee’s working hours.


This Policy applies to all University employees and is subject to the provisions of any applicable law, regulation, employment contract, collective agreement, or memorandum of agreement, and should be read in conjunction with other applicable University policies and guidelines, including any of the foregoing related to working hours.

For purposes of this Policy, “working hours” are those hours during which an employee is required or expected to be performing the duties of their position and includes the following as applicable to the employee’s position: regular hours; overtime; time spent on-call, on standby, or called-in; flexible hours; and responding to emergencies or operational needs as expected within the scope of the employee’s position.


This Policy confirms that when an employee is not required or expected to be performing the duties of their position (e.g., while on vacation, public holidays, and outside of the working hours applicable to their position), employees are entitled to be free from the performance of work and are not expected to engage in work-related communications, including but not limited to emails, telephone calls, video calls or the sending or reviewing of other messages. 


Responsibility of Managers, Supervisors, and Academic Administrators
Managers/Supervisors/Unit Heads are responsible for communicating to all employees under their direction the expectations and contractual obligations (e.g., employment contract, collective agreement, memorandum of agreement, policies, guidelines) for the employee around working hours including where applicable: regular hours, overtime, on-call, stand-by, vacation, flexible work, public holidays, and the right to disconnect from work outside of working hours.

Responsibilities of Employees
The employee is responsible for confirming expectations with their manager/supervisors/unit head as needed to ensure the employee understands the expectations.

If the employee has concerns about disconnecting from work, the employee is responsible for raising their concerns with their manager/supervisor/unit head at the earliest opportunity in an effort to resolve the issue. Where the issue remains unresolved after discussions with the manager/supervisor/unit head, the matter may be raised within the appropriate dispute resolution channels available to employee. 




•    Employment Policies: https://people.utoronto.ca/policies/
•    Collective Agreements: https://people.utoronto.ca/agreements/

Should a link fail, please contact governing.council@utoronto.ca


Date Description of Change


Hours Free From Work
Hours of Work