According to legal experts, Canada may be facing a wave of dismissals related to compulsory workplace vaccine policies as more employers require workers to be fully vaccinated with COVID-19.
Governments, agencies and businesses have spent months trying to put out vaccine obligations to curb the relentless pandemic caused by variants.
As employers approach the deadline for full vaccination, unvaccinated workers may soon be put on unpaid leave or completely dismissed, lawyers say.
Discussion on mandatory COVID-19 vaccine in the workplace
“Thousands of people from all over Canada have contacted us, all with these ultimatums in front of us, who need to be vaccinated by a certain date or are at risk of losing their jobs. It has been said, “said Lior Samfiru, an employment attorney who is a partner of Samfiru Tumarkin LLP. Said in an interview.
“We’ll see the biggest wave of termination we’ve seen since the pandemic began,” he said, with his company in a variety of industries including healthcare, education, banking, construction and restaurants. He said he had been contacted by a worker. ..
“It will be important.”
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced Canada’s new compulsory vaccine policy on Wednesday. Core public services, air travel and rail employees must be fully vaccinated with COVID-19 by the end of October.
The federal vaccine obligation reflects state policies such as Nova Scotia, which requires all schools and healthcare professionals to receive the COVID-19 vaccine twice by the end of November.
Alberta is not considering compulsory COVID-19 vaccination for certain jobs “at this time”.
Private companies are also developing corporate vaccination obligations, and the deadline for full vaccination of staff is approaching.
In this situation, legal professionals address the tension between protecting the rights of individual workers and ensuring that employers fulfill their health and safety obligations to staff, clients and the general public. is.
There is also the question of what reasonable accommodation or tax exemption should be available to workers and whether compensation is obligatory for unvaccinated employees who are ultimately dismissed.
“Employers have a top priority to ensure that their workplace is safe,” said Ron Pizzo, a labor and employment lawyer at Pink Larkin in Halifax.
“COVID is an acute disease that can be life-threatening, so the risk of harm is quite high,” he said. “Employers have a duty to keep their workplaces safe and therefore impose these policies for good reason.”
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Mr Pizzo said his company does not want to be vaccinated and has received quite a few calls from people who want to fight their employer’s vaccination requirements.
Still, given the relatively high vaccination coverage of the general population, he said he did not anticipate a major resignation that would leave companies with insufficient workers. Over 80% of Canadians over the age of 12 are fully vaccinated.
Pizzo added that many law firms have introduced mandatory vaccination policies for face-to-face meetings in the office.
Wayne MacKay, Professor Emeritus of the Dalhousie Schulich School of Law, said employers need to balance the individual rights of workers by maintaining a safe working environment, including providing reasonable accommodation. ..
But he said a recent review of the case, which included a balance between personal rights and public health, supported the latter.
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“I have passed many cases and referees, but for the majority, individual rights are important and I need to do everything I can to respect them, but at the time of the pandemic it is rational. I’m saying the limits will be given over a wide range, “said Mackay. “Given the threat of COVID-19, most government restrictions have proven to be reasonable.”
These cases did not specifically address vaccine obligations, but he said the same reasons are likely to apply.
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Retirement turmoil as workplace COVID-19 vaccine obligations come into effect
Source link Retirement turmoil as workplace COVID-19 vaccine obligations come into effect