Coronavirus Vaccine Policy
A number of vaccines to prevent serious health effects from Coronavirus (“COVID-19”) has been developed and made available to the public. The purpose of this policy is to set out our Company’s stance on the vaccine as it affects our workforce and the related rights of our employees.
At this time, the definition of being vaccinated involves having 2 vaccination shots.*
*Note this definition may change based on public health standards and requirements.
Individual opinions on vaccines can vary greatly and we appreciate that having a vaccine is generally a personal choice, sometimes dictated by personal circumstances such as health or religion.
Under the Ontario Human Rights commission guidelines, only 2 exemptions are possible at this time:
At this time, the disclosure of employee vaccination status is required under the current legislation mandated by the Province of Ontario and the City of Toronto.
If the employee is unable to receive a COVID-19 vaccine due to a medical exemption, the exemption should be written by a licensed doctor or nurse practitioner and provided to the employee’s direct manager. The letter does not need to include the reason for the exemption.
If the employee is unable to receive a COVID-19 vaccine due to a religious exemption, the exemption should be written as an affidavit by the faith leader of the religious institution specifying the verses or quoting the rationale given with the religious texts that deem it impermissible.
Employee vaccination status will be protected in accordance with all applicable privacy legislation. Information collected regarding vaccination status will contain only the employee’s name and date of vaccination for each dose.
If an employee refuses to disclose their vaccination status, they must complete a vaccination education course (provided by CEE) and provide a certificate of completion to their direct manager.
As an employer, we have a duty to ensure the safety of our employees. In addition, health and safety legislation requires employers to take all reasonably practicable steps to ensure the health, safety, and wellbeing of their workers.
We expect our employees to be treated with dignity and respect by their colleagues in relation to their decision regarding the vaccine. CEE will not accept any bullying or harassment, or other unwanted behaviour, against an employee because of their decision.
If CEE identifies that a role is one which could pose a health and safety risk to colleagues, clients, or any other third party with whom there might be interaction in the course of employment, then, as part of our duty of care, we may request the employees in that role to leave the workplace or refrain from attending third party sites.
Based on current covid-19 standards all employees who are unable to social distance are still required to wear a mask in the workplace. Employees who choose not to receive the vaccine must continue to adhere to more stringent health and safety measures in place throughout our workplace including, but not limited to the potential of:
- Complete a COVID-19 vaccination educational session (and produce a certificate of completion)
- Frequent COVID-19 screening & testing (when entering the workplace)
- Worker relocation or modified work/reassignments
Employees should discuss any concerns with their doctor or certified medical professional to consider if it is appropriate for them to receive the vaccine. Employees should inform their direct manager as soon as possible if they do not intend to receive the vaccine or if advised by a medical professional not to do so.
MAKING AN INFORMED DECISION
It is normal that some of our employees may have concerns about the vaccine. We encourage all our employees to make an informed decision by paying attention to official information sources such as the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety and the National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI).
RECEIVING THE VACCINE
Vaccine appointments are now widely available to all individuals over the age of 5 years. The appointments are held at a doctor’s office, hospital, pharmacy, or one of the vaccination centres set up specifically for this purpose. The vaccine is offered free of charge and is currently administered in two doses, to be provided at separate appointments.
Employees should notify their direct manager or supervisor of their appointment time if time off work is needed. Employees must provide evidence of the appointment date and time to their manager when requesting time off.
On April 29, 2021, the Ontario Government began providing provincially regulated employees with up to three (3) days of paid infectious disease emergency leave due to certain reasons related to COVID-19; one of which is receiving a COVID-19 vaccine. Employees who attend a vaccine appointment can utilize this paid leave, provided evidence of the appointment is obtained. Employees are asked to discuss arrangements with their direct manager before attending the appointment
CEE is committed to ensuring that our program members remain safe during this pandemic.
As such, we are now moving to a place where only vaccinated members will be able to participate in programming. This decision has been made with the increased restrictions being placed by workplaces of members to be vaccinated to participate.
As a result, during this pandemic, CEE will only be offering programming and placements to fully vaccinated members.