Canada’s business sectors require COVID-19 vaccinations among employees

Placing an ultimatum for the mandatory vaccine policies in workplaces marks a foreboding increase in terminations among workers.

Most companies and institutions have promulgated mandatory vaccine policies since variants of COVID-19 show no sign of stopping. For months now, the government has carried out vaccination policies to battle the incessant increase of COVID-19 cases.

Some of the employers have set deadlines for their workers to be vaccinated. This leaves unvaccinated workers either on unpaid leave or terminated by the company.

The Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC) voices out the concerns of its federal workers’ members. Most of the employees are in a tightrope situation since one of the strictest vaccination policies has been mandated. They said that this mandatory vaccination policy is carried out without proper consideration for workers.

Chris Alyward, PSAC President strongly said that this policy did not reconsider the situation of the employees.

“The way that this policy was announced leaves us basically with our hands up in the air saying, how is this going to be implemented?” Aylward said in a phone interview.

Canada’s large business sectors including Shopify.Inc and Sun Life Financial had already mandated COVID-19 vaccines among their employees.

Despite the country’s effort to decrease the number of COVID cases, there are still a lot of people who are getting infected by the virus. In addition to this, the highly contagious Delta variant has also been recorded.

Another dilemma has also been asked in regards to the mandatory vaccination policies of private companies and institutions.

The question is: What if the employees refuse? Do they have the right to do so?

The Toronto-based employment lawyer, Alex Lucifero, said that it can be a case-to-case scenario between the employee and the employer.

In an interview, Lucifero emphasized that there can be no “one size fits all” answer to the current situation. He further exemplified that there are potentially varying laws for different companies, industries, and the employees they hold.

Similarly, employment lawyer Adam Savaglio, addressed that there are misconceptions and incorrect assumptions surrounding the mandated vaccination policies. For him, companies must provide evidence and plausible reason to implement the mandated vaccine policy. Moreover, he emphasized that these companies have a responsibility towards their employees.

Another employment lawyer, Howard Levitt, had a different thing to say. Levitt strongly highlighted that companies have the right to terminate and fire their employees who will not comply with the said vaccine policy.

Companies and private businesses have coincided with the Canadian government’s policy for vaccination. Business sectors reiterate that their company and their employees are at stake in these increasing cases of COVID-19. An employee who chose not to get vaccinated will have no choice but to stay at home and leave the workplace.

In these trying times, the future of some businesses and companies is in a win-or-lose situation. Both the employers and the employees are at the receiving end of the COVID-19 crisis. There are only two options: mandate the vaccination policy or lose the business.

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