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ICBC joins employers requiring COVID-19 vaccination for work

Effective Nov. 15, joining B.C. Hydro, provincial public service
ICBC sells its products through a network of 900 private insurance brokers around B.C. (Tom Fletcher/Black Press)

The Insurance Corp. of B.C. is the latest employer to heed the advice of provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and require full COVID-19 vaccination for employees.

ICBC staff and contractors are required to be fully vaccinated by Nov. 15, the Crown corporation announced Friday. Employees were notified Thursday and further details “will be disclosed shortly,” ICBC said in a statement Oct. 8.

B.C. Hydro made a similar announcement Thursday, setting the same deadline of Nov. 22 as the provincial public service date set earlier this week. B.C. Hydro contractors, including on the Site C dam project, have until Jan. 10 to comply.

B.C. Ferries staff are required to be vaccinated under the Ottawa’s mandate for federally regulated employees in air, rail and marine operations, but the requirement does not extend to ferry passengers.

Premier John Horgan said this week he expects B.C.’s 60 school districts to enact mandatory vaccination, with the the teacher and support staff unions indicating they support the measure.

WorkSafeBC guidelines say vaccine policies are “new legal territory” for employers who are not subject to a public health order.

“Every workplace is different, so individual employers should seek legal advice when considering whether to develop a mandatory vaccination policy,” WorkSafeBC says. “Employers need to address not only workplace health and safety and workers’ interests but also consider labour and employment, human rights, and privacy issues.”

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