Can I make my employees take the COVID-19 vaccine?

As Canada’s COVID-19 Immunization Plan picks up pace, lots of employers are asking the same question: Can I make the vaccine shot mandatory for all my staff? We explain what you should do to keep your people and business safe.

Friday, Apr 30, 2021
2 min read

After close to a year of uncertainty, there is finally light at the end of the tunnel. The vaccines are giving us all hope, and it’s exciting to think that getting back to business as usual might not be too far away.

But it’s important to remember that there’s still a lot to consider when it comes to the vaccine and managing safety in the workplace.

While some employers may think that getting employees vaccinated is an effective way to comply with the duty to create a safe place of work, imposing a mandatory COVID-19 vaccine policy in your workplace may land you in legal trouble.

The vaccine isn’t mandatory

Like the flu shot, the COVID-19 vaccine is a personal choice. The Canadian government has not made getting the vaccine compulsory due to human and civil rights concerns.

If you push your staff to get one, you may be putting your business at risk of a lawsuit.

Protect your people and your business

There are also no signs that the government intends to make the vaccine mandatory, for any individual or section of society. It’s also worth remembering that if you could make your staff take the vaccine, it could bring a whole load of other legal risks into play, such as employee relations issues or discrimination claims.

For example, if employers could make staff take the vaccine, and then an employee suffered an adverse reaction, they may be able to sue you. It’s not worth the risk.

Ultimately, all of this means—there is no legal basis for employers to introduce a mandatory vaccination policy.

So, what can you do?

You can encourage—not enforce

Both you and your employees have a duty to maintain a safe place of work under health and safety legislation.

And with this in mind, it’s possible for you to encourage employees to be vaccinated to help create a safe place of work—but you can’t pressure anyone into taking it. It’s a delicate balance for employers to strike.

Manage the vaccine in your business with VaccTrak

The best way you can protect your people and your business is by keeping a record of who’s had the COVID-19 vaccine in your business and who’s still on the waiting list. It’s why we created VaccTrak.

It’s our brand-new online tool that lets you easily record who’s had the vaccine, access regular reports to monitor vaccination in your business, and download professional letter templates to encourage your staff to take the vaccine when they get the opportunity.

You can also share our expert vaccine awareness course with your staff, which helps explain why the vaccine is so important, and answers complex vaccine questions.

To see for yourself how easy VaccTrak makes managing the vaccine roll-out in your business, book your free demo today.


Share this article

Want product news and updates? Sign up for our newsletter.

BrightHR Icon

Smart HR software that transforms the way you manage your staff.

BrightHR in your region

Download our mobile app

App Store IconGoogle Play Store Icon

Registered Office (UK): Bright HR Limited, The Peninsula, Victoria Place, Manchester, M4 4FB. Registered in England and Wales No: 09283467. Tel: 0800 783 2806.

Bright HR Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority for the sale of non-investment insurance contracts.

Copyright © 2021 BrightHR