Mandatory vaccination policy rescinded for provincial public servants in British Columbia

COVID-19 vaccine in vials. Photo: Nataliya Vaitkevich/Pexels
By British Columbia Ministry of Finance

As of April 3, 2023, BC Public Service employees will no longer be required to provide proof of vaccination against COVID-19.

The decision to rescind the policy was made based on the high level of vaccination among public-service employees and the current state of the pandemic. More than 98% of employees met the requirement, which helped keep everyone safe.

Rescinding the vaccination policy means a small number of employees on administrative leave due to non-compliance will be provided the opportunity to return to the workplace. The Public Service Agency has provided direction to ministries and will work with supervisors to support a smooth transition. This change also means that contractors and other non-employees do not need to be vaccinated to enter BC Public Service workplaces.

While the public service is removing its policy, people are still required to be vaccinated if they work in settings with provincial health officer orders or other vaccination requirements. Vaccine mandates remain in highest-risk settings where the most vulnerable live and are cared for. This includes facilities in the health-care system.

The vaccination requirement for public-service employees, introduced in November 2021, was always intended as a temporary measure to help protect employees and the people they serve. While it is now possible to remove this policy, the pandemic is not over and the Public Service Agency continues to encourage all BC Public Service employees to remain up to date on their COVID-19 vaccinations, including booster doses.

Vaccination continues to be the best protection against severe illness with COVID-19 for individuals, including children and youth, and has helped protect B.C.’s health-care system and the economy.

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