To Mandate, or Not to Mandate – Vaccine Policies in the workplace
BMS Canada Risk Services Ltd.
COVID-19 has imposed new challenging obligations on employers. Employers have become very familiar with COVID-19 safety plans, work from home, masking, hand sanitizing, and social distancing. All employers have an obligation to maintain the health and safety of their employees. The beginning of vaccinations raises many questions about workplace vaccination policies. BSM Canada Risk Services collected some frequently asked questions and answers into this report, Risk Resource_Vaccination Policies in Workplaces.
The law about implementing mandatory vaccination policies is not clear and depends heavily on the provincial leadership. Canada has seen mandatory vaccinations before in Ontario and New Brunswick in 1990 and 1998 in the public school systems, and in B.C. in 2013 in workplace settings against seasonal full. Until Dec 2020, Ontario, Alberta, and B.C. are not mandating vaccinations.
VOM (Vaccinate or Mask) Policy has been previously used in response to low rates of voluntary immunizations for seasonal flu (B.C. 2013 & Ontario 2008). However, VOM has not always upheld in all cases (Ontario 2015 and 2018). The Issue of VOM policies is that the goal of the policy; “preventing illness and transmission saves lives”, is impossible to test in terms of causation, which makes the policy easy to challenge. VOM policy has only been applied in the context of seasonal flu in the past. Considering the amplified dangerousness of the COVID virus, it is likely that the hospitals that have challenged the policy before would decide differently this time.
If a psychologist unknowingly infects a patient while rendering care, their liability insurance will protect them, given that the psychologists have followed the provincial and territorial government and best practice guidelines and standards set by the regulatory body (Read CAP Guidelines HERE ).
BMS and PAA want to wish you good health and keep practicing safely in these difficult times.
Questions about vaccination mandates at workplaces or liability insurances can be directed to:
Broker: BMS Canada Risk Services Ltd., 825 Exhibition Way, Suite 209, Ottawa, ON K1S 5J3
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