Manufacturers looking for clear guidance on vaccine passports

Two-thirds support approach but only one-quarter require proof of jab

Manufacturers looking for clear guidance on vaccine passports

More than two in three (69 per cent) Canadian manufacturers (69 per cent) support the use of a vaccine passport in their companies to protect employees and families, according to a report from Canadian Manufacturer & Exporters (CME).

However, less than a quarter currently require it in their workplaces, as they need and expect strong, clear guidance from governments at all levels, which has been missing, found the survey of nearly 1,000 manufacturing companies across Canada.

And this poses legal risks.

"Right now, there is a lack of clarity about the use of the vaccine passport in the workplace. Businesses want to make sure their hands are free to move forward. Provinces must provide companies with the necessary tools to reduce the risks," says Dennis Darby, CEO of CME.

Recently, Canadian HR Reporter spoke with Paul Boshyk, partner for employment labour relations at McMillan in Toronto, about some of the legal landmines employers will have to be aware of when implementing a COVID vaccination policy.

Same rule for all

Also, if provincial governments implement a vaccine passport for the industry, clear and strict government guidelines on the use of the passport within companies will allow employers to better manage risks when it comes to external visitors, it says.

This will make it easier to require proof of vaccination from customers and suppliers, and safeguard the health and safety of workers.

Recently, Ottawa Public Health released a guide for employers on how to develop and implement workplace vaccination policies as part of their COVID-19 safety planning.

Also, there must be some flexibility for workers who are fully vaccinated, according to CME.

"While some governments have begun to roll out mandates and passport systems, the focus is often on retail and public places, and not on how the rules can and will apply to manufacturers and their 1.7 million employees in the country,” says Darby. “We believe that with clearer rules, vaccination levels will increase, and manufacturers who can prove their workforce is vaccinated can return to pre-covid operational health and safety guidelines.”

"With labour shortages raging, for companies to get on board and require mandatory vaccination in the workplace, the rules must be the same for each and every company.”

Several employers, including the federal government, the City of Toronto, the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC), Maple Leaf Foods and KPMG, have announced mandatory COVID-19 vaccination policies of their own.

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