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Supporting Your Practice

The Legality of Mandating COVID-19 Vaccines in the Dental Practice

Ms. Raquel Chisholm
Employment and Labour Law Expert, Emond Harnden LLP

With the COVID-19 vaccination program gathering steam across Canada, questions have been arising as to whether immunization against COVID should be a mandatory requirement in workplaces, particularly for those who work in health care settings.

So far, no federal, provincial or local authority has indicated that they will mandate vaccination, leaving decisions around vaccination in the workplace squarely on the shoulders of individual employers. So where do dental practitioners stand when it comes to vaccine hesitancy and the legalities of mandating vaccination in the dental office?

In this series of short, informative videos, Chiraz Guessaier, Manager CDA Oasis, invites Ms. Raquel Chisolm, an employment and labour law expert from Emond Harnden LLP, to unpack this complex and multilayered issue by addressing specific enquiries as presented by the CDA members.

Please note that this content is presented for information purposes only and consists of a broad overview of the legal landscape. Legislation may differ between individual territories and provinces. Please refer to your provincial authorities for specific legislative requirements.

Here are the key questions addressed in the videos…

  • What are the various labour laws and codes that apply when it comes to understanding the legal landscape around mandating vaccinations?
  • Can an employer reward or incentivize employees for getting vaccinated against COVID?
  • If a staff member travels outside of the country and cannot work due to quarantine measures, does their employer have to pay them for time off?
  • What does the arbitral jurisprudence say about mandatory vaccinations?
  • How should employers implement a COVID-related vaccination policy?
  • What are the employer’s obligations if a staff member refuses to work because they are concerned about COVID transmission?
  • What arguments could be used to challenge a mandatory vaccine requirement?
  • Are there privacy issues when somebody calls the dental office and asks if the staff have been vaccinated?
  • Can an employer fire an employee or reduce their working hours because of the pandemic?
  • Are there alternatives to mandatory vaccination, such as testing?
  • If a staff member tests positive for COVID, or is a close contact of someone who tests positive, is the practice owner obligated to pay for sick leave?
  • Would a practice owner be liable if one of their staff contracted COVID and transmitted it to others during working hours?

We hope you find the conversation useful. We welcome your thoughts, questions and/or suggestions about this post and other topics. Leave a comment in the box below or send us your feedback by email.

Until next time!
CDA Oasis Team

1 Comment

  1. Anonymous June 18, 2021

    Thank you Ms. Raquel Chisolm for your time and all of this valuable and insightful information. I will be adding a page to my Office Policy Manual regarding COVID now and will be sharing a lot of this information with my staff at our office meeting on Monday.


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