New Ontario Regulation: Employers Must Comply with the Advice of the Chief of Medical Officer of Health Regarding COVID-19 Vaccination Policies

On August 24, 2021, the Ontario government filed O. Reg. 577/21, amending O. Reg. 364/20 (Rules for Areas at Step 3 and at the Roadmap Exit Step). The amendment requires businesses and organizations to operate “in compliance with any advice, recommendations and instructions” issued by either the Office of the Chief Medical Officer of Health, or by a medical officer of health after consultation with the Office of the Chief Medical Officer of Health,

(a) requiring the business or organization to establish, implement and ensure compliance with a COVID-19 vaccination policy; or
(b) setting out the precautions and procedures that the business or organization must include in its COVID-19 vaccination policy.

Just four days earlier, on August 20, 2021, the Medical Officer of Health for the City of Toronto issued a press release strongly recommending that Toronto employers institute workplace vaccination policies. As part of the recommendation, the City of Toronto provided guidance on developing workplace vaccination policies. The recommendation predates the filing of O. Reg. 577/21, and it is not clear whether such recommendation is binding on businesses and organizations in Toronto.

WeirFoulds’ Employment Law Group is monitoring these developments and will be providing updates as the COVID-19 situation progress. For more information on how this may affect your business or organization, please contact Daniel Wong.


The information and comments herein are for the general information of the reader and are not intended as advice or opinion to be relied upon in relation to any particular circumstances. For particular application of the law to specific situations, the reader should seek professional advice.

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