Yesterday, NRC President Iain Stewart, announced NRC’s Policy on Mandatory Vaccinations.  As expected, it closely mirrors the Policy already in place in the Core Public Service.

At NRC, this Policy will be effective on November 8, 2021.  Employees will have between November 8 and November 30, to provide an attestation as to their vaccine status.  NRC has developed an onsite application called NRC-VATS for this purpose.  Employees can indicate that they are fully or partially vaccinated, that they will be vaccinated, that they cannot be vaccinated for a particular reason or that they decline to be vaccinated.  Until November 30, there are no restrictions on entry to the workplace.  For all NRC workplaces, all the Public Health guidelines and measures are still in effect.

Employees, with this attestation, may indicate that they intend to request accommodation, either for medical, religious or other grounds covered by the Canadian Human Rights Act.  The policy will explain the process and requirements for these requests.  The acceptable reasons for exemption and/or accommodation will be very limited.

If an employee declines vaccination, declines to declare vaccination status, or has not received an exemption, those employees will be placed on administrative leave without pay as of December 15, 2021, which is the full implementation date of the policy.

The RCEA has analyzed the Federal Government’s and NRC’s positions and have confirmed that the policy falls within their legal rights when it comes to ensuring the safety of the workplace.

Vaccines available in Canada have been analyzed and approved for use by the general public and there is ample evidence to show they are effective at decreasing your risk of serious illness or death. We strongly encourage all members to get vaccinated if they are able.

The RCEA will review cases of denied accommodation to determine whether grievances should be filed.  Please note that the RCEA has no authority to approve exemptions or accommodations and can only challenge these once NRC has made a decision.  All accommodation requests must go directly to NRC.

If you have questions about this policy, or believe that you should have received an exemption, please contact office@rcea.ca.  All inquiries will be assessed on a case-by-case basis to determine whether the policy has been followed and whether your collective agreement rights have been respected. NRC has also created a mailbox for questions. This can be accessed at NRC.Vaccines-Vaccins.CNRC@nrc-cnrc.gc.ca