Health & Safety
B.C. dropping its mandatory COVID vaccine policy for most workers in public service
British Columbia is dropping its mandatory COVID-19 vaccination policy for most employees in the BC Public Service as of April 3.
“The decision to rescind the policy was made based on the high level of vaccination among public-service employees and the current state of the pandemic,” it said in a press release. “More than 98 per cent of employees met the requirement, which helped keep everyone safe.”
Unvaccinated workers can return to work
It also said that a “small number” of employees who were on an administrative leave due to non-compliance will be “provided the opportunity to return” to their jobs.
“The Public Service Agency has provided direction to ministries and will work with supervisors to support a smooth transition,” it said. “This change also means that contractors and other non-employees do not need to be vaccinated to enter BC Public Service workplaces.”
Some COVID vaccinations rule remain
While the public service is removing its policy, people are still required to be vaccinated if they work in settings with provincial health officer orders or other vaccination requirements. Vaccine mandates remain in highest-risk settings where the most vulnerable live and are cared for. This includes facilities in the health-care system.
The vaccination requirement for public-service employees, introduced in November 2021, was “always intended as a temporary measure to help protect employees and the people they serve,” it said.
“While it is now possible to remove this policy, the pandemic is not over and the Public Service Agency continues to encourage all BC Public Service employees to remain up to date on their COVID-19 vaccinations, including booster doses.”
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