Maintaining a safe and healthy workplace for our employees has always been a top priority at Vena. Our physical workplace has changed dramatically since the pandemic started, like it has for many other companies, so we knew we had to develop a post-COVID workplace strategy that was driven entirely by employee feedback, health and safety. This led us to put into action our hybrid remote-office model, based on what our employees told us were their return-to-office preferences. While many will continue working remotely, for those gearing up for a partial or full return to in-office work, more was needed to protect them from contracting and spreading the COVID-19 virus in their work-related activities. This meant developing a vaccination mandate policy here at Vena.
“We recognize that vaccines are a safe and effective way to protect individuals from contracting COVID-19, spreading the infection, reducing the risk of outbreaks and ensuring the best protection against serious illness,” says Melissa Udvari, Director, People Operations & Programs at Vena. “Ensuring individuals in Vena’s workplace are vaccinated helps us to manage transmission risk and protect our employees, their families and the public at large.”
Many jurisdictions currently require employers to implement COVID-19 vaccination policies following the recommendations of public health officials. Vena’s vaccination policy was made in compliance with these recommendations and in recognition of Vena’s health and safety obligations to help ensure a safe working environment. It is not meant to be a substitute for other health and safety precautions. The policy supplements all our existing workplace safety protocols, which at present include daily screening of symptoms, masking and social distancing.
Our vaccination policy restricts access to Vena’s premises, work-related events and travel to those who have demonstrated that they are fully vaccinated or who are exempt from vaccination, subject to the terms of our policy. It applies to all Vena’s employees and contractors as well as to all individuals (guests, customers, suppliers, maintenance personnel, etc.) who access Vena’s premises. If an individual has partially completed the full series of the vaccine or if 14 days has not elapsed since the last dose of the vaccine, the individual will not be considered fully vaccinated at that point.
For Vena employees and contractors choosing to return to in-office work, this means they will be asked to provide full proof of vaccination as soon as possible. Proof of vaccination is available for most employees through their governmental health authority. All other individuals visiting Vena’s premises will be asked to provide a vaccination receipt or similar proof of vaccination.
All employees, contractors and visitors are asked not to come to Vena’s premises unless and until permitted to so under and in accordance with local government directives and the requirements of this policy. It’s important for all individuals who come to Vena’s premises to be fully confident that our vaccine policy is in force and that their health and safety is being protected.
It’s also important to note that our employees do have the option to work at Vena and not be vaccinated if they choose to work remotely and don’t require access to Vena’s office, work-related events and travel.
At the present time, the policy does not form part of any contract of employment or other contract to provide services, however, this may be amended at any time.
As the understanding of the COVID-19 virus continues to evolve, we expect the health and safety recommendations may also evolve. We will continue to monitor the updates and recommendations of public health authorities and make any amendments to our vaccine policy as necessary.
Please see below for further explanations of some of the key terms mentioned in relation to our vaccination policy.
Fully Vaccinated means having received the full series of the vaccine or combination of the vaccines approved by the World Health Organization or Health Canada (e.g. two doses of a two-dose vaccine series or one dose of a single-dose vaccine series) and having received the final dose of the vaccine at least 14 days ago or as may be otherwise accepted by Vena based on advice, recommendations and guidance from public health authorities.
Rapid Antigen Testing means testing for the presence of the COVID-19 virus performed through testing services approved by Vena.
Vena’s premises means any physical indoor space or outdoor grounds that are owned, leased, licensed, operated or otherwise occupied by Vena.
Vaccine means a Health Canada or World Health Organization approved COVID-19 vaccine.
Vaccination means inoculation with the vaccine.
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