COVID-19 & Legislation Updates | Weekly Workplace Recap from November 5 to November 12, 2021

Below are the key COVID-19 & legislation topics that touch on the workplace from November 5 to November 12, 2021.


Remembrance Day 2021 marks return of in-person ceremonies across most of Canada

Remembrance Day was closer to normal this year with COVID restrictions easing and in-person ceremonies commencing once again across the country to honour Canadian war veterans.

The ceremonies, taking place at different monuments and cenotaphs across the country, allowed Canadians to pay respect to veterans who fought and died for their country.

News Release


Ontario arbitrator upholds employer’s mandatory vaccination policy

On November 9, an Ontario arbitrator dismissed a policy grievance challenging the Employer’s mandatory COVID-19 vaccination policy.

This is the first decision that we are aware of where a mandatory COVID-19 vaccination policy was upheld and found to be reasonable as it was compliant with the Ontario Human Rights Code.



Expanded Alberta Jobs Now program open for applications

The Alberta Jobs Now program second application intake period will open on November 10 with changes designed to help employers meet their labour needs and provide more Albertans with the skills they need to land successful careers.

Through the program, employers can apply for a grant that covers 25% of an employee’s salary for a 52-week period, up to a maximum of $25,000 per employee. Also, employers that hire people with disabilities will receive a grant 1.5 times higher than the amount they receive for other new employees.

News Release

4 key questions about new OHS rules in Alberta

December 1 will bring a brand new occupational health and safety regime for employers operating in Alberta, as the province enforces its new OHS act.

Canadian HR Reporter spoke with Steve Eichler, partner at Field Law in Calgary, about what employers will have to contend with once the law takes effect. The article linked below answer the following questions:

  • What are the biggest changes to be aware of?

  • What overall effect will the act have on employers?

  • How does changed wording, such as to ‘undue hazard’ instead of ‘dangerous condition,’ make a difference?

  • What steps should employers be taking to prepare?

HR Article

British Columbia

HR consultant advises employers seek legal advice before implementing vaccine policy

More and more employers are requiring staff, contractors and visitors to be vaccinated against COVID-19 to enter the workplace in both the public and private sectors. However, there are always exceptions to the rule — and in some cases, those exceptions are personal and complicated. 

HR consultant Cissy Pau with Clear HR Consulting in Vancouver, said if someone is seeking a religious exemption, they should get a letter or other documents from their religious leader to verify their status. 

"If the employer has a policy that employees need to be vaccinated when they're working and there's just a religious exemption that is presented to them, they would need to try to accommodate that to the best of their ability," she said. Accommodations could include working from home or requesting regular COVID-19 testing for the individual. 

News Release


Sarah Visca
Sarah Visca is the Operations Manager at ConnectsUs HR, a company that provides tools & resources to quickly set up a Human Resources department.  
You can contact her here