Can Employers Ask For Proof of Vaccination?

By Brian Pho | July 28, 2021 | Industry Trends

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Can an Employer refuse a potential candidate employment if they fail to show “proof of vaccinations”? How should recruiters and employers navigate through this world of upcoming vaccination proof and candidates showing proof of vaccinations?

I have been seeing a growing concern with manufacturers wanting their current and potential employees become vaccinated. We know that the pandemic and virus has hit Canadian Manufacturers hard and companies are re-thinking their HR policies. As employees are going back to the office, manufacturers want their current and potential employees to be fully vaccinated. One of my clients is striving/mandating their employees be fully vaccinated. Having employees vaccinated is especially important to manufactures. The fines and potential shutdown of plants for days can be detrimental. The Health and Safety of not being vaccinated causes a health risk to many employees and vendors working with manufacturers.

Secondly, do employees really want to work with another person, in an indoor environment, who has not been vaccinated?

So Can Employers Really Ask For Canadian Vaccination Passports?

The Toronto Board of Trade is asking the Ontario Government to issue Vaccination Passports. The process on how this should be rolled out in Ontario is still under discussions at the highest level of government. Other countries like Sweden and Denmark have already implemented vaccination passports and I can see Canada and the rest of the world follow suit.

How Should Recruiters and Employers Ask If A Potential Candidate Has Been Vaccinated or Not?

We understand salary information is kept confidential. Recruiters and potential employers are not allowed to ask a candidate’s current salary at their place of employment. So are we legally allowed to ask about a candidate’s vaccination status? Being vaccinated is a personal choice but I believe the choices that un-vaccinated people have are becoming more limited. Already, Seneca College is mandating all students returning to class in the fall be fully vaccinated. If students do not comply, the college offers other distance or flexible learning options to those who choose to be unvaccinated. Other universities like University of Toronto are implementing similar policies.

The on-going story of proof of vaccination will be a pivotal moment when talking about HR policies and recruitment in 2021. Discussions are already under way at many major corporations on how this will effect how we work in 2021 and beyond. Determining a candidate’s vaccination status (or if they choose to be vaccinated or not) is a personal choice.

FILE PHOTO: A woman holds a small bottle labelled with a "Coronavirus COVID-19 Vaccine" sticker and a medical syringe in this illustration taken  October 30, 2020. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic

To have a better understanding of the role of vaccinations in the Canadian Manufacturing landscape, please do not hesitate to contact me.

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