Businesses and Workplaces

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Last updated: Jan 13, 2022

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Employers

As an employer, it’s your responsibility under the Occupational Health and Safety Act to take every precaution reasonable in the circumstances to protect a worker. Under the O. Reg. 364/20: Rules for Areas at Step 3 and at the Roadmap Exit Step, all persons responsible for a business that is open must have a written COVID-19 safety plan (Government of Ontario).

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Owners and Operators Where Organized Sports are Played and/or Practiced Indoors

Northern Ontario Medical Officers of Health continue to put the health and safety of residents first.

Operators of facilities in Northern Ontario where indoor sports are played or practiced will ensure additional groups provide proof of vaccination against COVID-19.

Northern Ontario’s seven Medical Officers of Health have issued instructions to facility operators under the Reopening Ontario Act requiring anyone aged 12 and older coaching, officiating, or volunteering at indoor organized sports to provide proof of vaccination unless a medical exemption applies.

For more information on the requirements, please visit the COVID-19 Vaccine Certificate Program Page.

Vaccine Policies & Certificate Program 

Vaccine Certificate Program ("Passports")

Ontario has implemented a vaccine certificate program which requires individuals to show proof of COVID-19 vaccination in order to access certain businesses and services. The following resources are available to support your business in this new approach to slowing the spread of COVID-19:

Vaccine Policies

Why do I need a vaccine policy?
  • The promotion of vaccine uptake can help reduce COVID-19 workplace outbreaks and disruptions.
  • Employers must maintain a safe work environment, which includes following recommended public health measures to reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission.
  • A workplace vaccination policy is an important measure to promote the safety of employees and the public. Workers, contractors, repair workers, delivery workers, students, volunteers, inspectors or others who are entering the business or organization for work purposes and not as patrons are not a part of the Vaccine Certificate Program.
Resources

We've put together some resources to help you build your business' COVID-19 vaccine policies:

*The Policy Toolkit should not be considered legal advice. Employers and persons responsible for a business in operation are encouraged to seek legal advice or assistance in developing their vaccination policy. Each organization should evaluate their particular risks associated with COVID-19 when considering and adapting the template. Employers have a general duty under the Occupational Health and Safety Act to take every reasonable precaution to protect their workers (Ontario regulation 364/20) and sector-specific legislation, as applicable, should also be followed.

If you're an employer with questions regarding employment vaccination policies, please contact our COVID-19 Call Centre at 1-844-478-1400.

More Information

To find out where vaccines are being offered, visit our COVID-19 Vaccine Clinics page. 

For posters and social media materials to encourage individuals to get vaccinated, check out our One Step Closer campaign page.

Rapid Antigen Tests

Visit our COVID-19 Testing page for information on Rapid Antigen Tests (RATs).

Infection Prevention and Control Measures for Employers

  • Post signage (e.g., physical distancing, hand washing, face covering);
  • Provide access to hand washing stations and/or hand sanitizer;
  • Sanitize high-touch surfaces often (e.g., counters, door knobs, equipment, tools, vehicles);
  • Examine ventilation (e.g., improve fresh air intake and air circulation, open windows);   
  • Review space to support physical distance of at least two metres (e.g., maintain space between desks, maintain space chairs in lunch room, use of separate entrances/exits, place floor decals to direct flow and encourage physical distancing, limit number of customers allowed inside, place barriers between employee and customers);
  • Review, update, and communicate/post policies (e.g., Face Covering policy, reporting illness, sick time, infection prevention and control, sanitization, tracking). When you review and create new policies, consider all workplace hazards, not just COVID-19 and consult with your Joint Health and Safety Committees/Health and Safety representatives;
  • Have your COVID-19 plan available;
  • Ensure all employees and customers are wearing face coverings, as required.
  • Do not allow customers to bring reusable cups, bags, and containers;
  • Review and consider various options for:
    • work schedule (e.g., work from home, staggered hours, breaks, lunches)
    • payment (e.g., encourage use of credit/debit)
    • meetings (e.g., by phone, virtually, outdoors, scheduled vs. drop-in)
    • non-essential tasks (e.g., delay, stop)

 *This does not substitute legal advice. These are general infection protection and control measures. It is important to note, some of these practices may not be feasible in all workplaces and/or there may be additional workplace policies, Ministry guidelines, or legislation for specific jobs or sectors. 

Employers should review relevant guidance documents provided by:

Employers are also encouraged to review:

For more information:

Government of Ontario

Government of Canada

North Bay Parry Sound District Health Unit

  • Call 1-844-478-1400 for questions around infection prevention and control measures for your workplace and COVID-19 (e.g., contact tracing, testing, self-isolation, return to work). 

Face Coverings and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

Visit our Face Coverings and PPE page.

Signage & Screening Tools

Visit our Signs and Screening Tools page.

Employees

Infection Protection and Control Measures for Employees

*These measures may not be possible in all workplaces and/or you may have other policies and laws to follow for your specific job or sector. 

  • Self-screen before going to work each day. Bookmark the online Worker and Employee Screening Tool for easy daily access.
  • Practice physical distancing (2 metres or 6 feet);
  • Wear a face covering or Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) as required;
  • Wash hands often (soap and water for 20 seconds or with hand sanitizer);
  • Avoid touching your mouth, eyes, and nose;
  • Avoid using contact greetings (e.g., shaking hands);
  • Avoid or minimize sharing tools, equipment, supplies;
  • Sanitize high-touch surfaces often (e.g., counters, door knobs, equipment, tools, vehicles);
  • Stay home if you have symptoms of COVID-19. If you have symptoms, immediately isolate yourself, and notify your supervisor or occupational health department.

Concerns about your workplace’s health and safety practices related to COVID-19

If you have any health and safety concerns at work, talk to your supervisor, Joint Health and Safety Committee or Occupational Health and Safety representative, or their industry-specific health and safety association. If your concern is not resolved, you can contact the Ministry of Labour’s Health and Safety Contact Centre (1-877-202-0008) to file a complaint. You have the right to refuse unsafe work.

Ontario Human Rights Commission’s (OHRC) policy on the COVID-19 pandemic

The OHRC’s policy statement on the COVID-19 pandemic reads "that negative treatment of employees who have, or are perceived to have, COVID-19, for reasons unrelated to public health and safety, is discriminatory and prohibited under the Code. Employers have a duty to accommodate employees in relation to COVID-19, unless it would amount to undue hardship based on cost, or health and safety."

The OHRC wrote to urge governments and agencies to adopt a human rights-based approach to managing the COVID-19 pandemic. To assist us, the OHRC has created these resources:

  1. Policy Statement on a human rights-based approach to managing the COVID-19 pandemic;
  2. Actions consistent with a human rights-based approach to managing the COVID-19 pandemic;
  3. COVID-19 and Ontario's Human Rights Code - Questions and Answers.

Workers who believe that they are being discriminated against can contact their union, human resources department and/or the Ontario Human Rights Legal Support Centre at 1-866-625-5179.        

Additional Resources

Social Service Providers

 Resources

North Bay

345 Oak Street West
705-474-1400

Parry Sound

70 Joseph Street Unit #302
705-746-5801

Burk's Falls

17 Copeland Street (by appointment only)
1-800-563-2808