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Manulife Financial Corp. will require employees in Canada to provide proof of their vaccination status by the end of October and will force unvaccinated staff to undergo regular COVID-19 testing before they work in its offices.
Employees who can’t be vaccinated for medical reasons must provide a note from a licensed health care professional, Manulife Canada Chief Executive Officer Mike Doughty said in a memo Monday. Those refusing the shots for religious reasons must make a written attestation.
The life insurer’s move follows similar policies announced last month by top Canadian banks to make vaccines mandatory, with limited exceptions.
“Effective November 1, any colleague who is not fully vaccinated will be required to complete twice-weekly COVID-19 testing, and comply with additional health and safety measures, including the wearing of masks, to work in our offices or to attend a Manulife-hosted event,” Doughty said in the memo. Other attendees at those events will also have to show proof of vaccination, he added.
Manulife hasn’t set a date yet for bringing staff back to offices. Only essential workers are allowed through the rest of 2021.
In March, in an effort to encourage skeptics to get vaccinated, Manulife offered gift cards and cheaper hotel stays to workers and clients who got the shot. It added the vaccination as a way to win points in its Vitality health-tracking program, which rewards health- and life-insurance policyholders for things such as exercising, getting health screenings or taking nutrition classes online.