The City of Toronto announced today, that effective Thursday, December 1, the COVID-19 Vaccination Policy has been updated to reflect that mandatory vaccination is no longer required for City staff, volunteers and contractors. The City continues to strongly encourage everyone to get vaccinated against COVID-19, including a fall booster dose to prevent severe illness.
Since the start of the pandemic, the health and safety of the City’s workforce and residents has been a top priority. In September 2021, the City introduced a mandatory vaccination policy for all City staff in order to provide a safe work environment. The policy reflected public health and occupational health advice at the time to keep staff and the public protected and to slow the spread of the virus. The City committed from the outset that it would continually review this policy, which would be based on science and evidence. Now, with more than 90 per cent of the public and 99 per cent of City staff with at least two doses of COVID-19 vaccine, the science and public health guidance and medical expert advice no longer supports the need for a policy that requires mandatory vaccination.
Additionally, based on recent arbitration and negotiations with the unions, the approximately 350 unionized City employees who either did not disclose their vaccination status, or did not get vaccinated, will be offered reinstatement into an unpaid leave.
As such, those staff who are on unpaid leave will also be eligible to start to return to the workplace when the updated policy comes into effect on December 1.
The City will continue to closely monitor evolving public health information and the COVID-19 situation to protect the health and safety of its employees. As an employer, the City will continue to meet its obligations under the Occupational Health and Safety Act to take every precaution reasonable to protect employees from workplace hazards, including COVID-19.
The public continues to be encouraged to get vaccinated against COVID-19 with vaccine clinics available throughout the city. The City’s updated vaccination policy is available on the People and Equity Policies webpage.
“I am proud that more than 35,000 members of the Toronto Public Service got vaccinated to protect themselves, their family, the community and their co-workers. The vaccination policy achieved its goal and we will continue to follow all the science, evidence and public health advice as we move forward.”
– Tracey Cook, Interim City Manager
Toronto is home to more than 2.9 million people whose diversity and experiences make this great city Canada’s leading economic engine and one of the world’s most diverse and livable cities. As the fourth largest city in North America, Toronto is a global leader in technology, finance, film, music, culture and innovation, and consistently places at the top of international rankings due to investments championed by its government, residents and businesses. For more information visit the City’s website or follow us on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook.