COVID-19 Vaccine Information for Nannies and Families

Prime Minister Trudeau announced that Canada received its first doses of the Pfizer vaccine at the end of December 2020, followed by the arrival of millions more doses in the first three months of this year. This is exciting news, as it gives us hope that the end of the pandemic is in sight. It also raises additional questions and concerns for many of us, so we’ve put together some important information for both Nannies and families to keep in mind.

Nannies

Here’s what you need to know: 

  • Employers (in this case, the family you work for) are not permitted to mandate vaccinations as a condition of employment.
  • Employers have an obligation to keep workplaces healthy and safe, so if you are unable or unwilling to get vaccinated, you should have a conversation with your employer about what else can be done to keep everyone in the household safe and help prevent the spread of the virus. 
  • Unless otherwise stated in your contract, you cannot legally be fired (with cause) for refusing to get the vaccine; however, your employer can decide to suspend your employment until the pandemic is officially declared to be over.

You may also be wondering what to do in the case that the family you are working for has decided to not get vaccinated. If you are not comfortable working with the family under those circumstances, the first step would be to have an open conversation with your employers expressing your concerns. For tips on how to initiate and navigate the conversation, read our three-part blog series on how to give and receive feedback with your family. If you discuss the matter and they are still not willing to change their position and get vaccinated, the next step would be to give your two weeks notice and resign from your position. Just as your employers can’t mandate you to get vaccinated, you can’t demand it of them either. 

Families

Here’s what you need to know:

  • It is important to have a conversation with your Nanny about your family’s decision on whether or not to get the COVID-19 vaccination. Transparency is key, so that you and your Nanny can make an informed decision about whether you both feel comfortable continuing with the working relationship (particularly in a case where one party is choosing to get vaccinated and the other is not). 
  • If you currently have a Nanny working for you, as an employer, you are not allowed to mandate vaccinations as a condition of their employment. 
  • If your Nanny refuses to get vaccinated, you can’t legally fire him/her (with cause) on those grounds (unless this was a condition of the contract that both parties had already agreed upon). That being said, you can suspend their employment until you feel it is safe for them to return to work or the pandemic is officially declared to be over. 
  • As an employer, you have an obligation to provide a healthy and safe workplace. If your family makes the decision to not get vaccinated, keep in mind that your Nanny may not feel comfortable with this and can choose to resign. 

We recognize that the situation surrounding the pandemic is constantly changing, as are the rules and regulations related to the COVID-19 vaccine. For the most up-to-date information, check the Government of Canada website. They have also created this helpful infographic with information about the vaccine in Canada.

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