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Insight: REIBC blog > Mandatory Employee Vaccination
It’s clear that the COVID-19 pandemic is far from over. Vaccination isn’t the only tool we can use to protect ourselves, but it’s a very significant one and one that saves lives. So it was inevitable that we’d find ourselves confronted with the notion of mandatory vaccine requirements in the workplace.
“We must be prepared to deal with COVID-19 risks long term and, in many cases, this means implementing vaccination status policies to ensure safe indoor gatherings, such as in the workplace,” write John McLachlan, RI, and Nicole Wong of Lex Pacifica.
Employees in the healthcare sector and public service have been directed to be vaccinated, but no such government-mandated directive exists for the private sector.
“Currently, private sector employers are not required to ensure that their workers are vaccinated, nor is there any law that expressly prohibits employers from mandating vaccinations,” say McLachlan and Wong. “Vaccination policies and their implementation in the workplace is new legal territory.”
If implemented properly, it is within an employer’s rights to require their employees be vaccinated. “Although an employer cannot force an employee to be vaccinated,” note McLachlan and Wong.
“The main risks that an employer faces are human rights or privacy complaints. A mandatory vaccination policy in the workplace is not necessarily discriminatory but requires a delicate balance between workplace health and safety, workers’ interests, and employment, human rights, and privacy issues.”
|Download Fall 2021|
For more about the issues and challenges of mandatory vaccines in the workplace, read McLachlan and Wong’s “Can Employers Make Vaccinations Mandatory for Employees?” in the Fall 2021 edition of Input. Download Fall 2021
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