Mandatory vaccination for Toronto City Workers
The City of Toronto recently reported as of October 5, 26,138 members of the Toronto Public Service are fully vaccinated, which is 89 per cent of City staff who disclosed their COVID-19 vaccination status. Five per cent of City staff who disclosed their vaccination status are partially vaccinated and two per cent chose not to disclose their vaccination status.
In total, 95 per cent of the City’s active staff have now completed the staff vaccination disclosure form. City staff were required to disclose their vaccination status by September 17 and be partially vaccinated by September 30, under the City of Toronto’s mandatory COVID-19 vaccination policy for employees.
Starting the week of November 1, staff who do not provide proof of receiving two doses of a COVID-19 vaccine will be suspended for six weeks without pay. During the suspension, staff may return to work if they provide proof of having received two doses of a COVID-19 vaccination.
After the unpaid suspension, on December 13, if staff do not provide proof that they are fully vaccinated, their employment will be terminated for cause as they will have chosen not to comply with the mandatory COVID-19 vaccination policy.
In the coming weeks, the City will continue its focus on educating staff and encouraging them to get vaccinated as soon as possible. An online training module will continue to be available, and new targeted education sessions and vaccination clinics at select work locations with lower vaccination rates will be offered. To allow staff to take advantage of these opportunities, staff who receive their first dose and provide proof of it by October 15 will be given until November 15 to get their second dose.
The City will continue to comply with its human rights obligations, and employees who are not able to obtain a COVID-19 vaccine under a protected ground set out in the Ontario Human Rights Code, will be entitled to accommodation.
While the number of staff not fully vaccinated is low, divisions have already begun to consider plans to mitigate any service or staffing impacts resulting from this policy enforcement.
The City released its mandatory vaccination policy on August 26 to help protect the health and safety of City employees, residents and the community. As the largest employer in Toronto, the City is taking a leadership role in making COVID-19 vaccination mandatory for its workforce. It is now a condition of employment that all new City hires be fully vaccinated.
“The vast majority of City of Toronto staff are fully vaccinated. This policy is focused on protecting the health and safety of all employees. We know vaccinations are the best way to protect ourselves and our community against the continued threat of COVID-19. I look forward to more staff joining their colleagues in becoming fully vaccinated in the coming weeks so that all of our workplaces are as safe as possible during the ongoing fourth wave and as our city reopens.” Said Mayor John Tory
Since COVID-19 vaccines became available in Toronto, City staff have been encouraged to get vaccinated as soon they were eligible and have been permitted to attend vaccination appointments during work hours, where operationally feasible.
The City will continue to closely monitor evolving public health information and the COVID-19 situation to protect the health and safety of employees. As an employer, the City is meeting its obligations under the Occupational Health and Safety Act to take every precaution reasonable to protect employees from workplace hazards, including COVID-19.
“We take the health and safety of our employees very seriously. While the majority of City staff are already fully vaccinated, we will continue to provide support and education to staff that remain unvaccinated to ensure that they have every opportunity to get vaccinated as soon as possible.”Said Chris Murray, City Manager
The City’s mandatory COVID-19 vaccination policy can be viewed on the City’s website.