Canada to enforce mandatory COVID-19 vaccination in federally regulated workplaces

COVID-19 vaccine mandate to come into force in early 2022: Employment and Social Development Canada

Canada to enforce mandatory COVID-19 vaccination in federally regulated workplaces

The federal government will propose regulations under the Canada Labour Code to make COVID-19 vaccination mandatory for all employees in federally regulated workplaces, said Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC).

“Making vaccination mandatory across all federally regulated workplaces will protect workers, their families and their communities, said Minister of Labour Seamus O’Regan Jr. “It will help us finish the fight against COVID-19 and help us sustain a strong and stable economic recovery.”

The government will consult with key stakeholders, including representatives from various small and medium-sized employers, as it works expeditiously to finalize the proposed regulations which would take effect in early 2022, the ESDC said.

The ESDC added that the government will also develop resources to help federally regulated workplaces implement the mandatory vaccination policy in consultation with their workplace health and safety committees or representatives.

The vaccine mandate is already in place for the public sector, employees working in the federally regulated air, rail and marine transportation sectors, and travelers on these modes of transportation.

The ESDC said that the proposed regulations would ensure that employees in all other federally regulated industries, such as road transportation, telecommunications, and banking, are also vaccinated − although many employers in these and other industries have already made vaccination mandatory for their employees.

Federally regulated employers may be subject to compliance and enforcement measures, including administrative monetary penalties, if they refuse to adhere to the vaccine mandate, the ESDC said.

“Vaccinations are one of the strongest tools we have in the fight against COVID-19 and in keeping Canadians safe and healthy,” Minister of Health Jean-Yves Duclos said in the release. “Through these requirements we help add an extra layer of protection in federally regulated workplaces.”

Currently, there are approximately 18,500 employers in federally regulated industries, including federal Crown corporations, which together employ 955,000 people across Canada.

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