Vaccine Policies Gaining Traction
On August 24, 2021, the Ontario Government issued Ontario Regulation 577/21, mandating that all employers comply with any advice and recommendations issued by the Office of the Chief Medical Officer of Health for Ontario, or by a regional medical officer of health, requiring a COVID-19 vaccination policy.
This is an important development for employers as its potential acceptance by regional health units may pave the way for Ontario employers to implement workplace vaccination policies.
While there is currently no requirement to implement a policy, particularly if other (existing) measures provide adequate safeguards, that may change and vaccination policies may become the norm across the province for the following reasons:
- Ontario Regulation 577/21 now directs all employers to comply with instructions issued by any regional/municipal medical officer of health, who may decide to require employers to implement a COVID-19 vaccination policy at any time.
- The City of Toronto has taken a leadership role and quickly acted upon this new authority: Their Medical Officer of Health has issued a directive that effectively requires all employers located in the City of Toronto to introduce vaccination policies in their workplaces. Other health units may soon follow the same course of action.
- Ontario has (finally) implemented a vaccine passport system after broad public pressure and calls for this certification by public health units across the province.
With these facts in mind, and if regional health units follow Toronto’s lead and this becomes a requirement for employers in the weeks ahead, such a policy may become mandatory.
If you would like any further direction or support in implementing a Covid-19 vaccination policy in your workplace, contact us today!