Workers let go for refusing COVID-19 vaccination not eligible for EI

Oct 22 2021, 9:55 pm

The Government of Canada says that people who are let go from their jobs because they don’t want to get vaccinated against COVID-19 should not expect to collect unemployment benefits.

In a statement to Daily Hive Friday, Employment and Social Development Canada said declining to get vaccinated is a choice, and generally does not meet the requirement of losing work through no fault on the employee’s part.

“While each EI application is assessed on a case-by-case basis, employees not complying with their employer’s mandatory vaccination policy would typically not be eligible to receive EI regular benefits unless there are extenuating circumstances (e.g., valid medical exemption),” a spokesperson for the bureau said.

Workers who are dismissed as a result of their own misconduct or who leave their jobs without just cause are not eligible for regular EI benefits.

In addition, the bureau said people who lie about their situation could face additional consequences.

Many workplaces across Canada have mandated that staff be vaccinated against COVID-19, in particular in the healthcare field. This week, Sick Kids Hospital in Toronto put nearly 150 staff on unpaid leave because they didn’t submit proof of full vaccination. Last month, a hospital in Windsor put 140 workers on unpaid leave for the same reason.

Megan DevlinMegan Devlin

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