Last month the Government of Canada issued new guidelines for employers about issuing records of employment (ROEs) for employees who fail to comply with mandatory vaccination policies.
Under the Guidelines, when an employee stops reporting to work, or if they are fired or suspended because they refuse to comply with the employer’s mandatory COVID-19 vaccination policy, employers are to use code E (Quit), code N (Leave of Absence), or code M (Dismissal), as the reasons for the employee’s absence or termination, which may disqualify them from EI benefits.
In assessing whether the employee is entitled to EI benefits, Service Canada may consider the following:
- Whether the employer adopted and clearly communicated to all employees a mandatory COVID-19 vaccination policy
- If the employees was informed that failure to comply with the policy would result in loss of employment;
- If the application of the policy to the employee was reasonable within the workplace context; and
- If there were any exemptions for refusing to comply with the policy.
Under section 30 of the Employment Insurance Act, a “claimant is disqualified from receiving any benefits if the claimant lost their employment because of their misconduct or voluntarily left their employment without just cause”.
Employment Minister Carla Qualtrough has already gone on record stating that it is likely that people who lose their jobs for not complying with employer COVID-19 vaccine policies will not be eligible for employment insurance (EI).
In other words, refusing to comply with a vaccine mandate is likely to be treated as misconduct or a voluntary resignation for EI purposes. Exceptions would exist for individuals who have a legitimate medical exemption preventing them from taking the vaccine.
If you are out of a job or income because you refuse to take the mandatory vaccine, get legal advice from an experienced employment lawyer. Contact JPak Employment lawyers by phone at 416.583.1920 or by email at : email@example.com
*This article is for general informational purposes only. For legal advice about your specific case, contact us at the coordinates above.