As COVID-19 vaccination rates continue to rise and restrictions ease across the country, Corporate Canada is encouraging their staff to get vaccinated. However, many companies appear to hold back on mandating jabs for employees who want to return to the workplace, according to comments obtained by BNN Bloomberg after polling all the companies in the TSX 60 on their vaccination plans.
Below is a list of the various vaccination policies employed by those companies. BNN Bloomberg will continue to update this tracker when it receives more information from companies polled on their policies.
Toronto-Dominion Bank: The bank will require its staff to show proof of an approved COVID-19 vaccine if they plan to re-enter the workplace on Nov. 1. "This is the right thing to do to protect the health and safety of everyone who is working in TD locations, and we are encouraged that many other organizations have taken similar measure," according to a memo provided to BNN Bloomberg. TD Bank said it will have "additional protocols" for its staff who are not fully vaccinated, or have not disclosed their vaccination status. Those protocols include completing a learning module about the benefits of vaccination, mandatory COVID-19 rapid testing, and the wearing of a face covering at all times.
Royal Bank of Canada: An internal memo from the bank's human resources head said it will require all employees to be fully vaccinated by Oct. 31 to work on its premises. "COVID-19 is an evolving issue and, with locations in 36 countries with different regulations, we recognize there are global differences in vaccine deployment efforts and access, and that some employees are not able to get the vaccine. We will be working through our approach with these situations in mind," the memo said.
BNN BLOOMBERG POLL: Do you want your employer to have a vaccination mandate for office workers?— BNN Bloomberg (@BNNBloomberg) August 20, 2021
Bank of Montreal: The bank will require all North American staff and contractors who are eligible to get a COVID-19 vaccine to be inoculated by Oct. 31 in order to work in a BMO location, according to an internal memo sent to BNN Bloomberg. Staff members who do not get vaccinated will be required to complete twice-a-week COVID-19 testing and comply with alternative health and safety measures to enter a BMO office, the memo said.
Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce: The bank said in an internal memo that it strongly encourages its staff to get vaccinated and will require employees to do so by Oct. 31 in order to return to the office. It did not specify what measures will be introduced for unvaccinated staff members.
Bank of Nova Scotia: The bank's head of human resources sent its staff a memo stating that it is "moving in the direction of making vaccinations mandatory" for its Canadian staff by this fall and is strongly encouraging its employees to get vaccinated. "Mandatory vaccines, along with testing, will be a key part in making our workplaces safer and supporting Canada’s economic recovery," the memo said. Staff will be asked to fill out an anonymous survey to detail their vaccination status and provide feedback to the bank. "Given the size and the diverse nature of our operations, implementing mandatory vaccinations will be a complex undertaking and we will communicate as much as we can while this work continues."
National Bank of Canada: A spokesperson for the bank declined to comment on its vaccination policies for its staff.
Emera Inc.: The Halifax-based company said it is not mandating vaccinations at this time, but is "strongly encouraging all employees to get vaccinated against COVID-19," according to a company spokesperson.
Nutrien Ltd.: A spokesperson told BNN Bloomberg that the company’s Calgary office is open for staff who want to return and is "strongly encouraging" its employees to be vaccinated but has not made that mandatory. The spokesperson added that Nutrien is monitoring the situation and will make future policy decisions accordingly based on U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines and regional data.
Wheaton Precious Metals Corp.: The Vancouver-based precious metals streaming company is not mandating COVID-19 vaccination for employees to return to office; but it will require staff to be fully vaccinated if they are travelling on business. A company spokesperson said all staff are either fully vaccinated or scheduled to be shortly.
Cameco Corp.: The uranium miner said it is collecting vaccination information from workers at its North American locations with a goal to have at least 90 per cent of its staff fully vaccinated for COVID-19 across all of its facilities, offices and operations. "Workers who remain unvaccinated, or who choose not to disclose their status, will continue to face heightened precautions and requirements," said a company spokesperson.
As a federally regulated company, Cameco is also monitoring details of the government’s announcement on the eve of the election campaign that all public servants and workers in federally regulated industries will need to be vaccinated, the spokesperson said. It will continue to review various policies and laws to determine how it can further increase vaccination rates for its staff.
Bausch Health Companies Ltd.: A company spokesperson said that they "strongly encourage" their employees to get a COVID-19 vaccine, other than those who are unable to do so for religious or medical reasons.
Constellation Software Inc.: A company spokesperson told BNN Bloomberg that: "Constellation is a conglomerate of hundreds of autonomously run software companies across the globe. Such policies will be set by the individual companies.
Magna Inc.: The auto parts maker said that its position on vaccinations for staff is that it is a "personal choice", according to a company spokesperson.
Canopy Growth Corp.: The pot giant told BNN Bloomberg that it implemented "several mitigation measures" to reduce the risk of COVID-19, without providing specifics. A company spokesperson said it will continue to follow government and public health guidance and "strongly" encourages its staff to receive a COVID-19 vaccination.
Sun Life Financial Inc.: Canada's second-largest insurer said in an internal memo that staff who wish to work in an office must attest to being fully vaccinated before entering in addition to maintaining physical distancing and mask requirements. Sun Life also said it plans to expand seating capacity in its offices to 25 per cent this fall for those who wish to return.
Inter Pipeline Ltd: A spokesperson said the Calgary-based company will "continue to assess and evaluate options" in terms of vaccination requirements for its staff.
Enbridge Inc.: A company spokesperson said that the Calgary-based energy company's vaccination policies are "evolving" and it is looking to Health Canada and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in the U.S. for further guidance.
Open Text Corp.: A statement attributed to Chief Executive Officer Mark Barrenechea said Open Text will continue to monitor the situation but didn't specify whether vaccinations will be mandated for staff. "The top priority at Open Text is the health and wellbeing of our employees. Vaccines work, and the company funds vaccines and annual boosters for all employees," the statement said.
Thomson Reuters Corp.: The professional services and media giant said it is "strongly encouraging" its staff to be vaccinated as soon as they are able. It is also providing staff with paid time off to get inoculated and reimbursing expenses for transportation. "The fastest way to move beyond the pandemic is to achieve high vaccination rates and sufficient population-level protection from the virus. We continue to monitor developments and regularly review our policies," a company spokesperson said.
Shopify Inc.: A company spokesperson pointed to a tweet from CEO Tobi Lutke that any interal staff meetups will require proof of full vaccination.
Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd.: The country's second-largest railroad operator is not making vaccinations mandatory for employees. A company spokesperson said CP Rail is "engaging with government officials to discuss the federal government's recent announcement concerning mandatory vaccines for employees in federally regulated industries."
Teck Resources Ltd.: The company is "strongly encouraging" its employees who are medically able to do so to get fully vaccinated against COVID-19, but is not requiring mandatory vaccination at this time, a spokesperson said. "Teck would strongly support a clear directive from government confirming that employers may require vaccination as a condition of employment, subject to accommodation for bona fide human rights or medical reasons." The company is also giving its staff an additional day of paid leave to get vaccinated.
Kinross Gold Corp.: The Toronto-based gold miner is strongly encouraging its staff to get the COVID-19 vaccine but is not requiring staff to be vaccinated in order to return to its head office, a company spokesperson said. Kinross said it will continue to monitor the government's approach on vaccinations and is exploring increased safety measures for unvaccinated staff.
Agnico Eagle Mines Ltd.: The miner said it is monitoring recommendations made by public health authorities and that it has developed campaigns to inform Canadian staff about COVID-19 vaccines and their benefits, a company spokesperson said. The spokesperson did not specify if Agnico plans to mandate vaccinations for staff, but said that it is assisting employees who are working in remote mines in northern Canada with booking first and second dose appointments in their own home province.
BCE Inc.: BCE staff who will return to work or plan to visit a company workspace will be required to show proof of being fully vaccinated against COVID-19, a company spokesperson said. The policy is party of BCE’s plan for a gradual and voluntary return to work, which begins Oct. 31, pending any changes in public health guidance. (Editor’s note: BCE owns BNN Bloomberg through its Bell Media division)
Rogers Communications Inc.: A company spokesperson said all staff must be fully vaccinated with an approved COVID-19 vaccine to return to their offices by Oct. 18.
CAE Inc.: A letter to the company's staff from its CEO encouraged employees to inform them of their vaccination status through an anonymous survey which will be used to determine what measures it will take when returning to work. CAE's return-to-office plan is evaluated on a location basis, while its Montreal headquarters will see employees return in September. "We are taking a very cautious approach, we follow stringent protocols and we are always ready to adapt to any changes in the sanitary situation," the letter said.
Franco-Nevada Corp.: A company spokesperson said its Canadian employees will need to be double vaccinated or take regular COVID-19 tests in order to work safely in the office.
Imperial Oil Ltd.: The Calgary-based company is encouraging staff to get vaccinated and anonymously share their status to help Imperial Oil track overall vaccination rates. However, Imperial Oil will not be implementing a requirement to vaccinate and will continue to maintain masking and social distancing requirements that are currently in place, a company spokesperson said.
Loblaw Companies Ltd.: A company spokesperson said that all Loblaw store-support staff will need to be fully vaccinated or show a negative COVID screen to return to offices across Canada.
Suncor Energy Inc.: The company is not mandating vaccination for its employees, but views it as a "critical layer of protection that is highly encouraged," a spokesperson said. Suncor administers mandatory rapid antigen screening for its maintenance activity workers at several of its Alberta facilities. It is also providing rapid antigen screening on a voluntary basis to Suncor workers in its Sarnia and Edmonton refineries as well as an ethanol plant in Ontario.
Manulife Financial Corp.: A company spokesperson declined to comment on its staff vaccination policies.
TC Energy Corp.: A company spokesperson declined to comment on its staff vaccination policies.
Brookfield Asset Management Inc.: The company said more than 90 per cent of its employees are vaccinated and its office protocols aimed at preventing the spread of COVID-19 meet or exceed government guidance, a spokesperson said. Brookfield hasn't issued a vaccine mandate for its staff as of this time, the spokesperson added.
Dollarama Inc.: A company spokesperson said its employees are not required to be vaccinated to go into work. "We are actively monitoring the evolving situation and emerging regulations on the topic and will adapt our policies as needed," the spokesperson added.
Metro Inc.: The company is encouraging its staff to get fully vaccinated and will continue promoting the vaccine’s benefits internally, a spokesperson said. It has yet to mandate the vaccine to its employees, but will follow all government and public health guidelines, the spokesperson added.
Canadian Apartment Properties REIT: The Toronto-based real estate operator is finalizing its back-to-work plans and has yet to mandate any vaccinations for its staff. A company spokesperson said that it anticipates staff will have the option to return to the office and those who choose to do so will be required to be vaccinated.
First Quantum Minerals Ltd.: The company declined to share its staff vaccination policies.
SNC-Lavalin Group Ltd.: A company spokesperson said SNC is delaying its plans to reopen its offices next month to a later date. It is strongly encouraging its staff who wish to access its office facilities to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19, while those who have yet to be fully vaccinated are recommended to continue to work remotely or make other accommodations with a manager.
Telus Corp.: Telus issued a press release stating that all employees who wish to enter a company administrative building must be vaccinated against COVID-19 as of Oct. 1. All Telus employees who work in a customer-facing environment must be vaccinated effective Oct. 15 or provide twice-weekly rapid testing to show they do not have the virus. The company said fully vaccinated workers will be able to return to the office in January, while unvaccinated staff will continue to work from home.
Barrick Gold Corp.: A company spokesperson said the gold miner is mandating its Toronto staff to be fully vaccinated before they return to work. Barrick has also implemented a vaccination program and awareness campaign at its mines as well, the spokesperson said.