The Federal Government recently published guidelines for employers to assist with issuing Records of Employment (ROEs) after a COVID-19 related leave or termination, where an employee fails to abide by an employer’s COVID-19 vaccination policy.
If an employee fails to comply with an enforceable COVID-19 vaccination policy, the following ROE codes may apply:
- Code E (quit)
- Code N (leave of absence); and
- Code M (dismissal).
If one of these codes are indicated on an ROE, Employment and Social Development Canada may contact an employer to ensure that the codes are being properly used. An employer may be specifically asked questions to assist in determining the following:
- If the employer adopted and clearly communicated a mandatory COVID-19 vaccination policy to all employees;
- If the employees were informed that a failure to comply with this policy would result in a loss of employment;
- If the application of this policy to the employee was reasonable within the workplace context; and
- If there were any exemptions for a refusal by an employee to comply with this policy.
Employers must issue ROEs within the following timelines:
- For ROEs issued electronically, 5 days following the interruption of earnings (i.e. leave, termination); and
- For ROEs not issued electronically, either:
- 5 days after the pay period in which an employee experiences an interruption or earnings; or
- 15 calendar days after the interruption of earnings.
Mandatory COVID-19 vaccination policies can be enforceable if they are carefully drafted, consider appropriate human rights and privacy laws, are reasonable for that specific workplace, and are properly communicated to employees.