City of Toronto announces mandatory COVID-19 vaccination for its employees

Today, Mayor John Tory was joined by City Manager Chris Murray and Chief People Officer Omo Akintan to announce a new mandatory COVID-19 vaccination policy requiring all City of Toronto employees to receive both doses of the vaccine.

With the health and safety of residents, staff and the community key priorities for the City, this new policy demonstrates a commitment to taking every precaution to protect staff and visitors in City workplaces from COVID-19. The full policy is being finalized now and will be made public in the coming days.

The City announced today that all members of the Toronto Public Service will be required to disclose and provide proof of vaccination status by September 13. Staff who have not been vaccinated or who do not disclose their vaccination status by September 13 will be required to attend mandatory education on the benefits of vaccination. These unvaccinated individuals will then need to provide proof of first dose no later than September 30.

As of October 30, all City staff will be required to have received their first and second doses of a COVID-19 vaccine. The City will comply with its human rights obligations and accommodate employees who are legally entitled to accommodation.

The City has continually encouraged all staff to get vaccinated as soon they were eligible, and allows employees to go to vaccination appointments during work hours, where operationally feasible.

Public health guidance demonstrates that vaccines provide a high level of protection against COVID-19 and related variants. Toronto Public Heath recently reported that since May 1, those who are unvaccinated or only partially vaccinated make up 98.7 per cent of hospitalized COVID-19 cases.

The City, as an employer, has an obligation under Ontario law to take all necessary precautions to protect its workers. As the largest employer in Toronto, the City is also taking a leadership role in making COVID-19 vaccination mandatory for its workforce. Agencies and corporations of the City will be encouraged to do the same in order to protect their employees and the public they serve.

Quotes:

This is about ensuring the City of Toronto – your municipal government funded with your tax dollars – is doing everything it can to encourage vaccination and protect our workers. Our end goal is to encourage and persuade people to get vaccinated, if they haven't already, so our City workplaces – which includes many public places – are as safe as possible for them and for the people we serve. I encourage all of our employees who aren't vaccinated and who are eligible to be vaccinated, not to wait. Please do the right thing now and get vaccinated. It will help better protect you, your coworkers, and your loved ones."

– Mayor John Tory

“It is our duty as the largest employer in Toronto to protect our workforce and lead by example as the Toronto Public Service. Our priority is to provide a safe environment for the City's employees and service recipients. Ensuring high rates of vaccination remains one of the most important ways we can protect our community and each other.”

– Chris Murray, City Manager

“The evidence is clear that vaccines work to protect people from becoming infected with COVID-19, acquiring more serious infections and to save lives.  Getting fully vaccinated is the best way to reduce virus spread and our risk of COVID-19 and its more transmissible variants.  Establishing a workplace vaccination policy is a key action that employers, including the City, can take to keep workers, their families and our city safe as we continue living with COVID-19.”

– Dr. Eileen de Villa, Toronto’s Medical Officer of Health

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