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B.C. finalizes proof of vaccination policy for public service workers

The deadline is fast approaching for all government employees to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

The province announced today that they must have two doses of a COVID vaccine by Nov. 22nd.

Those who don’t show proof of vaccination, unless they have a medical exemption or other legitimate grounds for not getting their shots, will be placed on unpaid leave for three months.

Partially vaccinated employees – those who have received only one dose – may be offered alternative work arrangements, but will be required to provide proof of full vaccination within 35 days of getting their first dose. 

Partially vaccinated employees who are not fully vaccinated within that timeline will be placed on unpaid leave.

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Employees who are still unvaccinated after the three-month unpaid leave may be fired.

The policy applies to any employee working for the BC Public Service, regardless of whether they work on site or remotely. 

This also includes employees of any board, commission, agency, or organization to which the Public Service Act applies, or whose employees are hired in accordance with the Public Service Act.

The lone exception is if their organization will have a comparable policy in place by Nov. 22nd.

The province has also updated the BC Public Service Occupational Safety and Health Policy, to require contractors and others accessing employee-only areas of indoor public-service workplaces to be fully vaccinated by Dec. 13th.

This does not apply to the public accessing government services.

Proof must be done by showing a digital or paper version of the BC Vaccine Card. 

Employees who do not provide proof of vaccination, or refuse to disclose their vaccination status by Nov. 22nd, will be considered unvaccinated.

The province says this “proof of vaccination policy will be in effect until public health concerns regarding COVID-19 are reduced to a level, prescribed by government, to enable workplaces to operate without restrictions or a vaccination requirement.”

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