Canada: City of Toronto Announces Mandatory Vaccination Requirement for Members of Toronto Public Service, Urges Private Employers to Follow Suit

On August 19, 2021, the City of Toronto announced that:

  • All members of the Toronto Public Service will be required to disclose and provide proof of COVID-19 vaccination status by September 13, 2021;
  • Mandatory education on the benefits of the vaccine will be required for unvaccinated staff or those who, by September 13, 2021, do not disclose their vaccination status;
  • Unvaccinated individuals will be required to provide proof of a first dose by September 30; 
  • All City of Toronto staff will be required to have received their first and second doses by October 30, 2021; and  
  • The City of Toronto will comply with its human rights obligations and employees legally entitled to accommodation will be accommodated. 

Noting its obligation, as an employer, under Ontario law to take all necessary precautions to protect its workers, the City of Toronto’s announcement concludes with the following appeal to other Toronto employers to implement a similar COVID-19 vaccination requirement for their employees:

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.    

Bottom Line for Employers

Although Toronto’s full mandatory vaccination policy has not yet been finalized, its announcement indicates that it will be made public in the coming days.  We will follow developments as they occur, and provide further updates, as appropriate.  In the meantime, all employers in Toronto may wish to consider whether they will be following the City’s leadership example by also implementing a mandatory COVID-19 vaccination employee policy. 

Information contained in this publication is intended for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice or opinion, nor is it a substitute for the professional judgment of an attorney.