Ask the ExpertOntario – our regular work week is Monday to Friday. Can we mandate a Saturday shift?
hri_Admin Staff asked 4 years ago
1 Answers
Glenn Demby Staff answered 4 years ago

There’s nothing in the Ontario ESA precluding you from making that change. The major stumbling point is the controversy and employee objections this change may engender.
And while making Saturday a work day may be okay under the ESA, there is some legal risk, namely, that employees will claim constructive dismissal to the extent this is a material and unilateral change to the terms of their employment. Constructive dismissal isn’t a bargaining tactic since employees would actually have to leave their jobs to assert it. But it leads to litigation and exposes you to the risk of liability for wrongful dismissal.
The other risk is that the change may constitute a breach of the collective agreement or employment contract of employees who are non-union.
Bottom Line: Be careful and sensitive to the backlash risks and make sure you’re contractually allowed to impose the change. Better yet, try to negotiate and secure the employees’ agreement before making it.
Hope that helps. Glenn
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