City of Ottawa implements mandatory vaccine policy for employees

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Today, the City of Ottawa implemented its mandatory vaccine policy for employees. Developed in consultation with Dr. Vera Etches and Ottawa Public Health, the policy requires that all City of Ottawa employees, contractors, volunteers and students be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by November 1, 2021.

Many City employees have been on the front lines of the pandemic for 18 months, and their health and safety, as well as the health and safety of residents and the community, are key City priorities. Vaccines provide an additional layer of protection against COVID-19 and are extremely effective in preventing illness and reducing transmission. As we’ve seen the Delta variant fueling resurgences, this policy further demonstrates the commitment to protect staff and visitors in City workplaces from COVID-19.

To comply with the policy, employees who are not yet vaccinated or not yet fully vaccinated must:

  • Have received their first dose no later than September 15, 2021
  • Have received their second dose no later than October 15, 2021
  • Be fully vaccinated by November 1, 2021

The policy outlines that employees are required to provide proof of their vaccination status. Staff who are unable to be vaccinated must provide written proof of a valid medical reason from a doctor or nurse practitioner. Unvaccinated employees who do not have a valid medical exemption or those who do not disclose their vaccination status will be required to complete a mandatory education session. Employees who do not comply with the requirements of this policy will not be permitted in the workplace and may be subject to a variety of consequences, which can include leave without pay or discipline, up to and including dismissal.

All new City of Ottawa employees will be required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 as a condition of employment.

The City continues to provide supports for staff, such as deploying mobile vaccination teams to City office buildings and allowing staff to attend vaccination appointments during work hours, when operationally feasible, to make it convenient to receive a vaccine.

The City of Ottawa vaccination policy is available on ottawa.ca.

For more information on City programs and services, visit ottawa.ca or call 3-1-1 (TTY: 613-580-2401). You can also connect with us through Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Quotes

“It is vital that we ensure that the City of Ottawa is doing everything we can to protect our employees and our residents, especially as more of the economy reopens. We are doing well in Ottawa and we have one of the highest vaccination rates in the province. It is clear that Ottawa residents, including our City employees, want to protect each other and our community and help bring back normalcy to our day-to-day lives.”

Mayor Jim Watson

“We know that vaccination offers us our best protection against COVID-19. With the Delta variant beginning to spread in our community and increasing risk, it is so important that we have as many people vaccinated as possible. Mandating vaccinations for our employees not only protects our staff and helps to reduce transmission, but it also helps to protect our entire community.”

Councillor Keith Egli, Chair, Ottawa Board of Health

“The health and safety of our people continues to be our number one priority. Our goal is to increase the safety of our workplace for staff, as well as for residents accessing our services. Vaccines provide an additional layer of protection against COVID-19 and are effective in preventing illness and reducing transmission. As we’ve seen the Delta variant fueling resurgences, this policy demonstrates that the City of Ottawa is a leader in our community.”

Steve Kanellakos, City Manager

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