Vaccination Policy Recommendations for Spring 2023
Its been some time since we communicated updates on this front, and for good reason. Government and public health restrictions have dramatically lessened in the last several months as compared to the measures implemented during 2020-2022 to manage the pandemic. Over 80% of Ontarians are vaccinated and community infection rates of the last few years have also contributed to so-called herd immunity. It is with these factors in mind, that we are advising clients who wish to do so, to suspend their vaccination policies and to remove the requirement to vaccinate from their employment agreements. We are intentionally using the operative phrase suspend. You may recall that when we originally recommended the implementation of vaccination policies, we did so with the advice that they be implemented on a temporary basis to address the public health crisis and to comply with the urgent advice of public health authorities. While those urgencies have now abated, we are recommending that clients simply suspend the application of their policy at this time. If the 2023/24 ‘flu season’ presents new COVID challenges (which we sincerely hope is not the case), that may represent a situation that requires these policies to be re-introduced.
We also confirm two very important exceptions to the above advice: Firstly, for clients who provide services in the healthcare fields, we recommend maintaining your policies until at least the summer (and you in fact may currently be required to do by government regulation). Secondly, in any workplace where the maintenance of these policies is needed to support health and safety and infection control measures, you may likewise choose to maintain your policies and to require vaccination as a condition of employment.
If you have any questions about vaccination policies in your workplace, please feel free to contact us.