COVID-19 vaccination is an important layer of protection for workers, their families and the community. Staying up-to-date with all recommended COVID-19 vaccines is the best way to protect against becoming seriously sick from COVID-19 and long COVID. Having a high vaccination rate will protect employee health, reduce absenteeism and increase workplace safety.
Establishing a Vaccination Policy
Please note: The information provided on this webpage does not contain legal advice and should not be relied on or treated as legal advice; those for whom these recommendations are intended may seek their own legal advice for their specific circumstance. Employers and operators should continue to review and update their policy based on the best up-to-date evidence and public health advice.
Key Components in a Vaccination Policy
- Develop a communication plan
Have a clear communication plan to inform workers about the policy.
- Identify the scope and purpose.
A COVID-19 vaccination policy should include statements about its scope and purpose. The policy may make statement such as:
- Workplace health and safety is a priority.
- The workplace is committed to taking reasonable steps to encourage COVID-19 vaccination among workers in order to protect them from the risk of COVID-19 and long COVID.
- The policy is designed to maximize COVID-19 vaccination rates among workers as an important layer of protection against COVID-19 and long COVID.
- The policy applies to (indicate whether it applies to all workers, contractors, and/or agency staff).
- List actions and supports.
The policy should encourage and support everyone to get vaccinated. For example:
- Strongly recommend that everyone stay up-to-date with COVID-19 vaccine doses, including any booster dose(s).
- Strongly encourage people to seek information from credible sources.
- Provide workers with flexible hours and/or paid time off to help them get vaccinated.
- Provide workers with paid time off if they are not feeling well after vaccination.
- Staff contact
Identify who at your organization people should contact with questions about the policy or for more information.
While strongly encouraged, these recommendations are voluntary, and are not intended to be legally enforceable.
COVID-19 vaccines and workplace health and safety (Government of Ontario)
Time Off for Vaccination
Offering flexible work hours and/or paid time off to get vaccinated will help encourage your employees to stay up-to-date with their COVID-19 vaccines.
Under an amendment to the Employment Standards Act, between April 19, 2021 and March 31, 2023, Ontario workers could qualify for up to three days of paid sick leave to take time off work to get vaccinated or if they had side effects from the vaccine. Although this program has ended, continuing to offer employees time off for vaccination is an important way you can support your workers to stay up-to-date with their vaccines.
Vaccine Posters, Graphics and Other Resources
- Vaccine-related posters, graphics and other resources are available in multiple languages on Toronto Public Health’s Vaccine Resources page.
- Information about COVID-19 vaccines
- Where to get vaccinated
- VaxFacts : A free service that connects residents with Scarborough Health Network doctors to help answer questions about COVID-19 and other vaccines. Workplaces can encourage workers who have questions about the vaccines to book a VaxFacts appointment for one-on-one phone consultation with a doctor.
Supporting Employee Mental Health
COVID-19 Guidance: Employers, Businesses & Organizations