Draft policy says even telecommuting public servants must be vaccinated: union exec

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OTTAWA — The government's draft policy to mandate vaccines for federal workers could close the door to allowing unvaccinated employees to work from home, according to one union executive.

Stéphane Aubry, vice-president of the Professional Institute of the Public Service of Canada, says the draft, as well as other communication between unions and the government, suggests that the Treasury Board is leaning toward making vaccination a condition of employment.

He says that would mean workers would need to be vaccinated even if they work from home or outside of the country.

The Canadian Press has not seen the draft policy or verified its contents, and the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat would only say that officials have been working on the plan, which is subject to government approval.

Aubry says unions are pushing to find out what kind of accommodations could be made for unvaccinated workers, particularly those who cannot receive a shot for COVID-19.

Public-service unions have been allowed to provide feedback on the draft, and a final version is expected soon.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 5, 2021.

Laura Osman, The Canadian Press

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