As Canadians begin a return to work in earnest, COVID related issues continue to dominate Human Resource strategies.
Most employers want to implement some sort of a policy either requiring employees to be vaccinated upon return to work or implementing different health and safety procedures depending on vaccination status. Chris and I considered these issues recently in our webinars. Here are the links to those various publications and webinars for your ease of reference:
A human rights approach to proof of vaccination during the COVID-19 pandemic - BC's Office of the Human Rights Commissioner (bchumanrights.ca)
It is important to note that the Commissioner is NOT the B.C. Human Rights Tribunal. The Office of the Commissioner is an independent Office of the Legislature and does NOT accept or adjudicate human rights complaints. Rather the mandate of Commissioner Kasari Govender, who started her five year term September 3rd 2019, is to provide, inter alia, policy guidelines to protect human rights. It is with that background that this policy paper should be considered.
Of particular importance as we have noted in our webinars is the fact that personal preferences that do not engage a specific ground of discrimination under the Code do not create a basis for filing a Human Rights Complaint. We fully agree with the Commissioner when she states at page 10:
As always, our Group is here to support you and your business. If you would like to discuss how these changes may affect your workplace, please contact one of our Group members.
Continue to stay safe!