Poll: Majority of Canadian workplaces considering mandatory COVID-19 vaccinations

As many employers gear up to return employees to the workplace, 62 per cent of Canadian small- and medium-sized businesses are considering making COVID-19 vaccinations mandatory for employees to come to work in person.

A new survey by KMPG found that the majority of Canadian either have vaccination rules in effect, or they are planning to implement them. The same KPMG poll also found that the vast majority of businesses support mandatory vaccinations and vaccine passports to avoid another lock down.

“Businesses are grappling with how to navigate the issue of mandatory vaccination and determine whether or not they are legally permitted to require their employees and, in some cases, their customers, to provide proof of vaccination,” says KPMG’s Norm Keith, a leading advisor in Canadian safety law. “Our poll found a wide consensus among employers that vaccination is the most effective way to protect workers and customers and key to avoiding a new wave of infections and lockdowns.”

Some of the key poll findings:

    – 62 per cent are implementing or plan to implement mandatory COVID-19 vaccination for employees
    – 84 per cent agree that vaccines are key to avoiding another lockdown and should be mandatory
    – 84 per cent support vaccine passports to perform certain jobs or enter certain places
    – 85 per cent of male respondents support vaccine passports vs. 79 per cent of women; – Support for mandatory vaccination was also slightly higher among men (85 per cent) vs. women (81 per cent)
    – 90 per cent feel they are well-prepared and organized in bringing employees back to the workplace safely

A similar poll conducted by staffing firm Robert Half found similar results. Their data released late last week found that, once the COVID-19 restrictions completely lift, 56 per cent of Canadian managers will require their teams to return to fully in-office roles.

Much like the KPMG findings, this suggests that the majority of workplaces are going to have some requirement in place that staff be vaccinated before returning to the office.

KPMG’s Keith explains, “While some workplaces have taken steps to make proof of vaccination mandatory, others feel that unless mandated by government, it may be too onerous for them to make it a condition of continued employment. Overall, employers need to balance their health and safety legal duties with an employee’s privacy interests and human rights law protections.”

If you are hesitant now, would you be more willing to get vaccinated because your employer was mandating it? Would feel safe working on site in a workplace where staff weren’t vaccinated?

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