Nunavut Post

Tuesday, February 27, 2024

Faced with a labor shortage, Canadian employers accommodate the unvaccinated

labor shortage, Canadian employers

Key Takeaways:

  • Due to Canada’s tight labor market, many companies are opting for regular COVID-19 testing over vaccine mandates.
  • While others are reversing previously announced vaccination requirements despite an increase in Omicron variant cases.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government has implemented one of the strictest vaccination policies globally for civil servants, putting over 1,000 workers on unpaid leave and putting thousands more at risk.

Airlines, police departments, school boards, and even Canada’s Big Five banks have pledged to implement strict mandatory vaccine policies. However, following through has proven more difficult, especially as employers struggle with staffing shortages and workers demand exemptions.

According to official data, job vacancies in Canada have more than doubled this year, and vaccine mandates may make it more challenging to fill those positions, potentially putting upward pressure on wages. This could fuel inflation, which is already near a two-decade high.

“It’s already difficult to find employees, let alone implement a vaccine mandate. According to Dan Kelly, CEO of the Canadian Federation of Independent Business, you’d potentially save another 20 minutes “percent” of potential workers.

Canadian employers
Canadian employers; Image from Yahoo Finance

There are risks to hiring the unvaccinated. Companies are at a higher risk of COVID-19 outbreaks, and many vaccinated employees are hesitant to work with those who have not received the vaccine, according to industry groups and marketing experts.

Also Read: Police in Canada has issued a warning that ‘AirTags’ are being used to steal luxury vehicles

President Robert Eiser of Luda Foods, a soup and sauce manufacturer based in Montreal, said the company has 14 open positions, no vaccine mandate, and no plans to limit new hires to those who have been vaccinated.

According to data released on Friday, the addition of 153,700 jobs in November bolstered Canada’s tight labor market. However, it also revealed a growing mismatch between available workers and open positions. Furthermore, job postings have risen far above pre-pandemic levels.

According to John Cappelli, vice president of onsite managed services for global recruitment firm Adecco in Canada, half of his clients require vaccines. In contrast, the other half allows for regular testing for the unvaccinated.

However, he anticipates that the Omicron variant will prompt more workplaces to tighten vaccination policies, even as they deal with the tightest job market he’s seen in his 25-year career.

“In five months, we’re starting to see our first workplace (COVID-19) cases,” he said. Since August, the number of Canadian job postings on Indeed’s job search website mentioning vaccine requirements has quadrupled.

Source: Reuters News

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