Can we mandate a Saturday shift if our regular work week is Monday to Friday? We’re in Ontario.
Nothing in the Ontario Employment Standards Act (ESA) bans you from mandating a Saturday shift. But there are 3 potential concerns you need to consider before doing it:
- The controversy and employee objections this scheduling change may create;
- The risk that employees will claim constructive dismissal to the extent this is a unilateral and substantially unfavourable change to the terms of their employment;
- The risk of the change’s constituting a violation of your collective agreement or individual employment contracts if the employees aren’t represented by a union.
Bottom Line: Be careful and sensitive to the backlash risks and make sure you’re contractually allowed to impose the change unilaterally. Better yet, try to negotiate and secure the employees’ agreement before making it.