13 Sep Updates on Mandatory Vaccine for Employees in Ontario
COVID-19 Vaccine: Policy Updates Affecting Employees in Ontario
The COVID-19 virus continues to impact employers and employees across Canada, and all provinces are taking different approaches to maintaining a safe work environment. Unfortunately, the rumors about a potential fourth wave are becoming a reality, and Ontario is doing everything it can to protect our community from experiencing more loss.
Ontario has announced that as of August 17, 2021, COVID-19 vaccinations will be more enforced in workplaces throughout the province. Receiving the vaccination is not necessarily mandatory for all workplaces, however, there will be policies in place that will strongly encourage it.
The way that Ontario may be enforcing a vaccine is through initiating “proof of vaccination”. The potential implementation of a “proof of vaccination” means that employees in Ontario will need to disclose whether they have received the vaccine to their employers.
For example, hospitals have decided to implement a mandatory vaccine policy. Health care workers will need to provide evidence that they have received the COVID-19 vaccination. Employees who do not get the vaccine will have to complete a COVID-19 education course, will be subject to frequent antigen testing, required to wear masks, and instructed to remain socially distanced. This kind of policy will also be implemented for workers in the education system who are employed by the public school boards, private school boards, and universities.
Changes in Toronto
On August 19, 2021, the City of Toronto announced that all City of Toronto workers will need to supply their proof of vaccination by September 13, 2021.
For those employees who have not yet received the vaccine, the policy could potentially require workers to receive the first vaccine before September 30th, and their second dose before October 30th. Further, workers who have not yet received the vaccine may be subject to complete mandatory COVID-19 courses that educate them on the virus.
On August 20, 2021, the University Health Network announced that their health care workers in Toronto must receive both vaccines. They indicated that health care workers are required to receive their first dose by September 8th and their second dose by October 8th. Those workers who fail to receive both doses within this time constraint will be terminated and given a two-week notice period.
Why these changes?
The Delta variant is spreading rapidly throughout the province, and most people that are being hospitalized are unvaccinated. These measures are being initiated because Ontario is trying to protect those who could be impacted the most.
If you have any questions about how these changes impact your employment, please contact KCY at LAW by filling in an online consultation request or contact us by phone at 905-639-0999 to book your consultation today.