The government's vaccination campaign is now progressing well. Employers are eager to have a large number of their workers vaccinated to be able to work in a safe and healthy environment and resume business as usual. However, can employers force their workers to get vaccinated? Can they ask their workers to submit a vaccination certificate? Must they grant their workers paid leave of absence to get vaccinated? This Q&A answers these and other questions.
The amendments to the Employment Equity Regulations which introduce pay transparency measures for federally regulated private sector employers with 100 or more employees recently entered into force. The regulations aim to further address the wage gap that affects women, indigenous peoples, persons with disabilities and members of visible minorities. Private sector employers which are covered by the Employment Equity Act are now subject to new requirements.
The COVID-19 pandemic continues to impose many challenges on employers and employees, particularly working parents. Many schools and preschools remain closed for the time being. However, whether employers must continue to pay salaries to parents who cannot work since they must care for their children at home is debatable. Parliament recently approved an amendment to the Infection Protection Act, allowing parents to claim compensation if schools or preschools are closed to protect against infection.
The changes to parent's and adoptive leave announced in the Budget 2021 recently entered into force. The Family Leave and Miscellaneous Provisions Act provides for an additional three weeks' paid parent's leave and benefit for each parent, to be taken in the first two years after the birth or adoptive placement of a child. Moreover, all adopting couples will be able to choose which parent takes adoption leave, including male same-sex couples who were previously unentitled.
The Supreme Court recently issued a decision concerning jobseekers' duty to provide information about previous employment relationships to potential new employers. The court highlighted a set of principled guidelines with regard to the content of the information to be provided and the extent of jobseekers' duty to provide such information. The key takeaway from the judgment is that it is primarily up to employers to clarify qualification requirements and skills that are of significant importance to the position.