Toronto Star

Manulife mandates vaccines for employees

Unvaccinat­ed staff to undergo regular tests before working in offices


Manulife Financial Corp. will require employees in Canada to provide proof of their vaccinatio­n status by the end of October and will force unvaccinat­ed staff to undergo regular COVID-19 testing before they work in its offices.

Employees who can’t be vaccinated for medical reasons must provide a note from a licensed health-care profession­al, Manulife Canada chief executive officer Mike Doughty said. Those refusing the shots for religious reasons must make a written attestatio­n.

The life insurer’s move follows similar policies announced last month by top Canadian banks to make vaccines mandatory, with limited exceptions.

“Effective Nov. 1, any colleague who is not fully vaccinated will be required to complete twiceweekl­y COVID-19 testing, and comply with additional health and safety measures, including the wearing of masks, to work in our offices or to attend a Manulife-hosted event,” Doughty said in the memo.

Other attendees at those events will also have to show proof of vaccinatio­n, he added.

Manulife hasn’t set a date yet for bringing staff back to offices; only essential workers are allowed through the rest of 2021.

In March, in an effort to encourage skeptics to get vaccinated, Manulife offered gift cards and cheaper hotel stays to workers who got the shot. It added the vaccinatio­n as a way to win points in its Vitality health-tracking program, which rewards health- and lifeinsura­nce policyhold­ers for things such as exercising, getting health screenings or taking nutrition classes online.

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