Human Resources Legislative Update
Federal Government Suspends COVID-19 Vaccination Requirements for Certain Travel, and Federal Sector Employees
Date: June 15, 2022
On June 14, 2022, the federal government announced that as of June 20, 2022, it will suspend vaccination requirements for domestic and outbound travel, federally regulated transportation sectors and federal government employees. (For details about the federal government’s vaccine mandate which was originally introduced in October 2021, see our FTR Now of October 7, 2021, Federal Government Announces COVID-19 Vaccination Requirements for Travellers and Federal Sector Employees.)
The government states that it will continue to follow the latest public health advice and will not hesitate to re-introduce the vaccination mandates in the fall, if needed.
In this Human Resources Legislative Update, we highlight the key details of the government’s most recent news release and related backgrounders (see: Suspension of the mandatory vaccination requirement for domestic travellers and federally regulated transportation workers and Government of Canada suspends mandatory vaccination for federal employees).
Suspension of Vaccination Requirements for Certain Travel
As of 12:01 a.m. on June 20, 2022, individuals will no longer need to be fully vaccinated in order to board a plane or train in Canada. This change will not impact the requirement that all travellers entering Canada must comply with border entry requirements, including vaccination. As such, Canadian citizens and permanent residents returning to Canada from abroad and who are not fully vaccinated will still need to provide a valid pre-entry test result, remain subject to testing and quarantine for 14 days. Unvaccinated foreign nationals will continue to be prohibited entry into Canada (though they will be able to depart Canada by plane or train).
Noting the unique nature of cruise ship travel, the announcement states that vaccination requirements for passengers and crew of cruise ships will remain in effect.
Masking and other public health measures will also continue to be in place and enforced on planes, trains and ships.
Suspension of Vaccination Requirements for the Federally Regulated Transportation Sector and for Federal Public Servants
Also effective June 20, 2022, employers in the federally regulated air, rail and marine sectors will no longer be required to have mandatory vaccination policies in place for employees, and will be responsible for establishing return-to-work practices.
Similarly, the policy on COVID-19 vaccination for the Core Public Administration (CPA) and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), which required public servants in the CPA, including members and reservists of the RCMP, to be vaccinated against COVID-19, will be suspended. Therefore, as of June 20, 2022, federal public servants who were placed on administrative leave without pay as a result of their non-compliance with this vaccination policy, may resume regular work duties with pay.
The news release also instructs Crown corporations and separate government agencies to suspend the vaccination requirements they had implemented.
Finally, the announcement confirms that the federal government is no longer moving forward with its plan to introduce regulations under Part II of the Canada Labour Code, and which we covered in our FTR Now of December 8, 2021, to make vaccination against COVID-19 mandatory in all federally regulated workplaces.
Should you have questions, or require more information about how these changes may impact your organization, please contact your regular Hicks Morley lawyer.
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