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Hamilton City Council approves Mandatory COVID-19 Vaccination Verification Policy for all City employees

HAMILTON, ON – At a Special Council Meeting earlier today, Hamilton City Council approved a Mandatory COVID-19 Vaccination Verification Policy for all employees, including full-time, part-time, permanent, temporary, casual, volunteers, Council members, members of Council-appointed committees and students.

This policy will help to protect the health and safety of City staff, their families, and ensure Hamilton can achieve high levels of protection against COVID-19 and its variants. With the concerns around the fourth wave of COVID-19 and the Delta variant spreading in our community, as a large employer, the City of Hamilton has an obligation under to take all necessary precautions to protect its workforce, their families, and the community.

Effective September 15, 2021, all employees will be required to provide proof of their vaccination status. Those who do not are required to attend a mandatory education session on the benefits of getting vaccinated. Unvaccinated employees will then need to provide proof of their first dose no later than September 30, 2021. As of November 1, 2021, it will be mandatory for all staff to have received their first and second doses of a COVID-19 vaccine.

Quick facts

  • All City of Hamilton employees will be required to receive both doses of the COVID-19 vaccine and any subsequent recommended boosters
  • Proof of vaccination will be required to access a City facility for the purpose of conducting work, unless an individual has a bona fide medical or religious exemption (reviewed on case-by-case basis)
  • Employees who have not been vaccinated or who do not disclose their vaccination status will be required to attend mandatory education on the benefits of COVID-19 vaccination.
  • Employees who wish to access a City facility who do not provide proof that they are fully vaccinated will be required to submit to ongoing testing and provide proof of negative COVID-19 tests.
  • Without proof of vaccination or an approved exemption, or without a Negative COVID-19 test, staff will not be permitted to attend a City of Hamilton facility.
  • New employees will be subject to the vaccination verification policy as a condition of their employment contract with the City of Hamilton.
  • Staff who do not comply with the vaccination verification policy are subject to possible discipline, but at this time, staff would not be terminated. 
  • The City has worked with the various unions representing staff in developing this policy
  • Public health guidance demonstrates that vaccines provide a high level of protection against COVID-19 and its variants and reduces risk of severe illness and hospitalization.
  • Throughout the COVID-19 vaccine rollout, the City has continually shared vaccination information and has strongly encouraged all staff to get vaccinated as soon they were eligible.
  • The City allows employees to go to vaccination appointments during work hours, where operationally feasible.

“The health and safety of employees at the City of Hamilton and the surrounding community has remained at the forefront of our decision making throughout this pandemic. We are committed to doing everything we can to beat this virus. With the Delta variant and rising infection rates, the decision to introduce a Mandatory COVID-19 Vaccination Verification Policy is a necessary step to make city work spaces as safe as possible. I encourage all employees who are not yet vaccinated and are eligible to be vaccinated to do so. Let’s continue to work together to beat this virus – protect yourself, coworkers and loved ones.”- Mayor Fred Eisenberger

“The Mandatory COVID-19 Vaccination Verification Policy is another step the City of Hamilton is taking to protect the health and safety of our employees and the broader community in Hamilton. As an employer, the City has a duty to protect the health and safety of our workforce. As we know, getting vaccinated is one of the best ways to help stop the spread of COVID-19 and its variants. As we see COVID-19 cases increasing in our community, we need to work together to do everything we can to help reduce the spread of the virus, and employers can play a big role in that by implementing policies to protect their workers.”- Janette Smith, City Manager

“I fully support the City implementing a mandatory vaccination verification policy for City employees and efforts aimed at increasing vaccine uptake in the community as a whole. Achieving high levels of vaccination against COVID-19 is the best way to ensure the community can have the highest levels of protection heading into the fall. At this critical time in the pandemic and as we move forward together, we need this leadership from across all parts of our community to help reduce the spread of COVID-19 and protect workers, their customers and the community as a whole." - Dr. Elizabeth Richardson, Medical Officer of Health 

 

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