COVID-19 vaccination policy for BC Public Service employees
Last updated: June 27, 2022
The purpose of HR policy 25 – COVID-19 vaccination (PDF, 185KB) is to promote the health and safety of employees and others in the BC Public Service workplace through COVID-19 vaccinations.
- The BC Public Service is committed to the health, safety and well-being of employees
- In accordance with information and data provided by British Columbia’s Provincial Health Office, being fully vaccinated against COVID-19 is the most effective way to safeguard employee health and reduce the risk of transmission
On this page
- Key dates for 2021
- Purpose of the new HR policies
- Essential steps for employees
- Essential steps for supervisors
- Supervisors' video resources
- COVID-19 vaccination: contractors and other parties
- Quick links
- October 5: the deputy minister to the Premier announced requirement for employees to provide proof of vaccination
- November 1: PSA policy and guidelines established
- November 8: supervisors begin requesting proof of vaccination status
- November 22: all employees are required to be fully vaccinated
- December 13: contractors and other parties entering public service workplaces (except to access a government service) are required to be fully vaccinated
- Promote the health and safety of employees and others in the workplace through COVID-19 vaccinations
- Define the conditions and expectations for employees, contractors and others in the workplace to disclose their vaccination status and be vaccinated
- Review HR policy 25 – COVID-19 vaccination (PDF, 185KB)
- Review HR policy 04 – Occupational safety and health (PDF, 124KB)
- Align to guidance from the Provincial Health Officer and WorkSafeBC
Balance the privacy and human rights issues of employees with the need to maintain safe workplace for everyone
Ensure a respectful work environment. Harassment based on employee vaccination status or accommodation will not be tolerated
Provide proof of vaccination to your supervisor or other designated manager upon request using your digital or paper B.C. Vaccine Card.
If you’re seeking accommodation based on a medical exemption or another protected ground as defined under B.C.'s Human Rights Code, speak with your supervisor or designated manager.
Treat each other with kindness and respect. Harassment based on employee vaccination status or accommodation will not be tolerated.
Before you begin
- Determine if you've been designated to record employees’ vaccination status by your ministry strategic human resources (SHR) department
- If you've been designated, remember information about an individual’s vaccination status is personal information and must be treated in confidence
- No employee, including supervisors or designated managers, should share vaccination information about an employee outside of the disclosure process
November 1 to November 22, 2021
Step 1: Beginning November 1, 2021 and prior to meeting with your employee, send the email notice template (provided by SHR departments) to employees of the requirement to provide proof of vaccination
Step 2: Beginning November 8, 2021, review and verify the employee's proof of vaccination in-person or via live video conference
Step 3: Record employee's vaccination status or non-disclosure, ensuring confidentiality
Step 4: Send the 'Proof of Vaccination Confirmation Form' to your ministry SHR department
Step 5: Work with the PSA to respond to employees’ request for medical exemption or accommodation under B.C.'s Human Rights Code
after November 22, 2021
Work with the PSA and your ministry SHR department to:
Step 6: Place unvaccinated employees on unpaid leave of absence for non-compliance
Step 7: Work with partially vaccinated employees to identify possible alternative work arrangements
Subsequent to this video, BC Public Service Agency determined HR policy 04 – Occupational safety and health (PDF, 124KB) – proof of vaccination, extends to the use of charter and hired aircraft. Ministries control the terms of service via contract for charter and hired aircraft, including proof of vaccination for crew, and have exclusive use of the aircraft for staff and ministry purposes.
- Information sheet: Dealing with Vaccine Hesitancy: A Supervisor’s Role (PDF, 240KB)
Employees seeking a medical exemption or accommodation must speak with their supervisor or designated manager.
Supervisors and designated managers must seek advice from the PSA through AskMyHR.
Submit an AskMyHR (IDIR restricted) service request using the categories My Team or Organization > COVID-19 > Vaccine Exemption Accommodation Requests.
Effective November 8, 2021, employees may request an accommodation for exemption from the HR policy 25 – COVID-19 vaccination (PDF, 185KB) based on a medical condition or other protected ground as defined under B.C.'s Human Rights Code.
Employees must submit an exemption request in writing to their excluded manager or to an included supervisor who has been delegated this responsibility.
The request must contain complete and accurate information describing the need for accommodation including medical or other documentation, information on relevant limitations, restrictions and their vaccination status.
Employees may be asked to submit their request to their excluded manager or to an included supervisor using the following forms from the PSA:
- Medical Exemption for BC Public Service Employees (PDF, 1.2MB)
- Religious Exemption for BC Public Service Employees (PDF, 2.1MB)
Managers have the right to ask for and collect additional information to assess the merits of an accommodation request and establish reasonable accommodation.
Managers must consult with the PSA to assess whether an accommodation is appropriate and, if so, establish reasonable accommodation. Requests for accommodations will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis and each case will be carefully assessed on its own merits.
It's important to note that accommodations are not the same as personal preferences or personal choices. Rather, there must be a clear reason (with supporting documentation) under one of the grounds protected under the B.C.'s Human Rights Code as to why an employee cannot be vaccinated against COVID-19. Where necessary, legal and/or medical expertise will be sought to guide accommodation recommendations to managers.
Once a manager or supervisor has submitted an accommodation request through AskMyHR, a representative from the PSA will be in contact as soon as possible to support managers through the process.
Managers are encouraged to read the Managers guide to reasonable accommodation for general guidance on the accommodation process. Bargaining unit employees should also review their applicable collective agreement for any relevant provisions related to accommodation or contact their union/association for support. Excluded employees may choose to reach out to their employee association for support.
Requirements for new employees
Confirmation of full vaccination will be required for any new employees with a start date on or after November 8, 2021.
Effective as of this date, the requirement to be fully vaccinated will be included in all job postings and offer letters.
Confirmation of full vaccination will occur as part of the hiring process or as part of the pre-employment assessment and screening, depending on the type of job posting.
Employees who join the BC Public Service between October 5, 2021 and November 8, 2021 will be expected to become partially vaccinated by November 22, 2021 and fully vaccinated 35 days after their first dose.
Amendments to HR policy 04 – Occupational safety and health (PDF, 124KB) outline the following expectation:
- Effective December 13, 2021, all contractors and other parties entering a staff-only area of an indoor public service workplace while public service staff are present must provide proof of full vaccination for COVID-19 before entering. This does not include clients or the public receiving a direct ministry service
- Organizations, workplaces and staff must confirm proof of full vaccination for any party they're responsible for or otherwise allow, invite or direct into a staff-only area of an indoor workplace. This requirement includes, but is not limited to, contractors, statutory appointees, meeting attendees, interns, students, staff from other employers and visitors