Canadian employers, need help, avoid vaccination duties
Canada’s tight labor market is forcing many companies to offer routine COVID-19 testing as part of the vaccine’s prescriptions, while others are reversing previously announced immunization requirements even as the Omicron variant cases increased.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government has adopted one of the strictest policies in the world for public servants and has put more than 1,000 workers on unpaid leave, putting thousands more at risk.
Airlines, police forces, school boards and even Canada’s Big Five banks have committed to strict mandatory vaccine policies. But working this way has proven to be less straightforward, especially as employers face staffing shortages and workers claim exemptions.
The number of job vacancies in Canada has doubled so far this year, official data shows, and vaccination duties could make it harder to fill those jobs, potentially pressure to increase wages. That could boost inflation, which is already at its highest level in nearly two decades.
“It’s already hard to find staff, let alone put in place to get vaccinated,” said Dan Kelly, chief executive officer of the Federation of Independent Businesses of Canada. potential movement”.
There are pitfalls to using unvaccinated people. Companies are at higher risk of COVID-19 outbreaks and many vaccinated employees are uncomfortable working with unvaccinated people, industry groups and marketing experts say.
At Luda Foods, a Montreal-based soup and sauce company, president Robert Eiser said he has 14 active jobs, no vaccination mandates and no plans to restrict new hires. for those who have been vaccinated.
“I didn’t know I wanted to reduce (labor) which is already pretty low,” Eiser said. “We need to attract people to fill the demand. If we don’t, our competitors will.”
Data released on Friday underpinned Canada’s tight labor market, with a whopping 153,700 jobs added in November. It also showed a growing mismatch among skilled workers. available and unfilled jobs. And job postings far exceed pre-pandemic levels.
Quebec thwarted its mandate to vaccinate healthcare workers last month, saying it couldn’t afford to lose thousands of unvaccinated workers. Ontario, which is also eyeing a mandate, said it would not proceed.
TD Bank and Bank of Montreal have both softened their vaccine policies to allow routine testing for workers who miss the October 31 immunization deadline.
In Canada, 86% of adults are fully immunized, although the rate drops to less than 80% between the ages of 18-40. At least 15 new cases of the Omicron variant in Canada have been reported in the past week.
John Cappelli, vice president of on-site managed services in Canada at global recruitment firm Adecco, said half of his clients are entrusting vaccines, the other half allowing routine testing. frequently in unvaccinated individuals.
But he hopes the Omicron variant will spur more workplaces that are stricter on vaccinations, even as they struggle with the tightest job market he has seen in his 25-year career.
“We started seeing the first workplace cases (COVID-19) in five months,” he said.
The number of Canadian job postings on the search site Indeed mentioning vaccine requests has quadrupled since August.
In the troubled manufacturing sector, where 77% of businesses said their top concern was attracting and retaining workers, the quest for vaccines was rarer.
Dennis Darby, CEO of Canadian manufacturers and exporters, said most Canadian factories have been operating safely throughout the pandemic. While the CME encourages vaccination, “some companies are still using rapid testing if someone doesn’t want to get vaccinated,” he added.
Wojtek Dabrowski, managing partner at Provident Communications, said companies risk damaging their reputation if they try too hard to exploit unvaccinated people as a source of labor, said Wojtek Dabrowski, managing partner manager at Provident Communications.
“If you go out and say, ‘We’re trying to hire unvaccinated people,’ a lot of customers will associate you with being unscientific and anti-secure,” says Dabrowski.