Purpose:

The purpose of this policy is to gather employee COVID-19 Vaccination/Immunity rates within Valard Construction (“Valard”). Additionally, this policy is designed to respect the privacy of those employees that do not wish to disclose their Personal Information. This includes an employee’s vaccination status and/or information related to previously contracting COVID-19. To this end, Valard has strived to balance five factors:

  1. The nature of Valard’s workplaces and the type of work Valard performs.
  2. Occupational, Health and Safety (OHS) regulatory requirements which require Valard to do everything reasonably practicable to protect the health and safety of our employees and those workers working around our employees.
  3. The applicability of privacy legislation.
  4. The potential impact of human rights legislation; and
  5. Where applicable, the potential impact on collective agreements where Valard partners with Unions to perform work.

The purpose of collecting this information is to form an accurate employee COVID-19 Vaccination/Immunity rate estimate to assist in making future decisions in relation to COVID-19 protocols. Further, through discussions with our clients, Valard anticipates certain clients will require Valard to disclose general Vaccination rates within our workforce.

Valard chose to implement this policy because Vaccination/Immunity rates are a prime indicator used by governments and institutions around the world to understand how COVID-19 spreads in a certain geographical area. Understanding this information assists policymakers, like Valard, in determining whether COVID-19 restrictions need to be changed (e.g. kept the same, increased, decreased, or removed).

In specific, we note the following characteristics of COVID-19 Vaccines/Immunity:

  • COVID-19 Vaccines are safe and effective at preventing COVID-19, especially severe illness, hospitalization, and death.
  • COVID-19 Vaccines reduce the risk of people contracting and spreading the virus that causes COVID-19.
  • Population Immunity or herd immunity means that enough people in a community/geographical area are protected from getting a disease because they have already had the disease or because they have been Vaccinated.
    • Population Immunity makes it hard for a disease to spread from person to person. It can even protect those who cannot be Vaccinated, like newborns or people who are allergic to a Vaccine.
  • Getting Vaccinated may also protect people around you, particularly people at increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19.
  • Having previously contracted COVID-19, people produce anti-bodies against COVID-19, which provides some natural Immunity.
  • Getting Vaccinated reduces the ability of COVID-19 to spread and in turn, reduces the opportunity for COVID-19 to mutate and produce more variants of concern.
  • COVID-19 Vaccinations are more effective in preventing the spread of COVID-19 and protecting individuals from serious health issues related to COVID-19 then current restrictions like social distancing, COVID-19 screening, enhanced cleaning & sterilization, and masking.
  • Vaccines do provide protection against current COVID-19 variants of concern.
  • Vaccines are now widely available in all regions in which Valard operates.

Scope:

This policy applies to all Valard union and non-union employees and subcontractors working for Valard.

Policy:

Employees who have been Vaccinated and/or who have contracted COVID-19 previously (i.e. natural Immunity) may choose, under their own will and strictly voluntarily, to submit their Personal Information to Valard. Should an employee choose not to share their Personal Information in terms of Vaccination status and/or if they have contracted COVID-19 previously, for any reason, no action is required by them.

Responsibilities:

Those employees who have been Vaccinated and/or who have contracted COVID-19 previously (i.e. natural Immunity) who choose, under their own will and strictly voluntarily, to submit their Personal information to Valard, are required to provide the following:

  • Upon request, proof of vaccination status.
  • Affirmation that the Personal Information provided to Valard is true; or
  • Combination of the above.

The above information will be saved by Valard and recorded in accordance with privacy legislation. Valard’s Health and Safety department will manage the Personal Information in a secure manner, ensuring compliance with Valard’s Privacy Policy and the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA).

As Valard is using this information to assist in making future decisions in relation to COVID-19 protocols, Valard must take steps to confirm the validity (i.e. truthfulness) of the Personal Information being submitted to Valard. More specifically, this information will directly affect the health and safety of the workers within our operations, their families, and the communities in which we work.

Employees who wish to disclose their Personal Information must complete the “COVID-19 Vaccine/Immunity Disclosure Form” attached below.

Accommodation:

Valard wants to make it clear to those employees who choose not to take part in this policy, for any reason, that Valard is committed to accommodating any worker who may be unable to receive a COVID-19 vaccine for reasons related to disability, creed, religious belief, or any other legally Protected Ground unless it would amount to undue hardship. Again, individual employees who choose not to share their Personal Information, for any reason, Valard supports your right to privacy.

Supporting documents:

  • Appendix A – COVID19 Vaccine Immunity Disclosure form

Definitions:

  • Vaccine(s) or Vaccination: This includes any COVID-19 vaccine authorized by:
    • The United Stated Food & Drug Administration; and
    • The Government of Canada Department of Health.
  • Immunity: Includes the ability ofa person to resist infection to SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19). This can be accomplished in 2 ways, either after being infected with a COVID-19 virus or by receiving a COVID-19 Vaccine. However, Valard is cognizant of the fact that immune protection is not always equal. Vaccine immunity and natural immunity for COVID-19 can differ in terms of the strength of the immune response or the length of time that the protection lasts. Additionally, not everyone will get the same level of immunity from infection, while immune responses to the Vaccines are very consistent. As such, the most reliable immunity comes from Vaccines.
  • Personal Information: Includes information related to an employee’s Vaccination status, proof of Vaccination status and/or information related to previously contracting COVID-19.
  • Protected Ground: This can include, but is not limited to, race, creed, nationality, religious beliefs, colour, gender, sex, gender expression/identity, gender determined characteristics, physical disability, mental disability, age, ancestor, place of origin, ethnic origin, race or perceived race, marital status, source of income, family status, sexual orientation, criminal conviction, and political belief.