Chamber of Commerce joins MLHU to help businesses launch staff vaccination policies

The London Chamber of Commerce is teaming up with the Middlesex London Health Unit (MLHU) to help local businesses of all sizes implement mandatory vaccination policies for their employees.

On Sept. 3, Medical Officer of Health Dr. Chris Mackie issued a letter recommending all businesses implement policies requiring their employees to be vaccinated against COVID-19, with limited exemptions.

“It’s important that even those businesses that don’t see themselves as high risk, also recognize that employees who are gathering together and employees serving customers do have the potential to spread COVID,” Mackie explains.

Next week, the London Chamber of Commerce will join the health unit’s effort by providing resources to its members to assist them to implement employee vaccine policies.

“The small business person is desperate for some guidance, so here it is. It lays out a simple, reasonable policy that is in accordance with the law and with Human Rights,” says CEO Graham Henderson.

Early next week information about implementing employee vaccination policies will be emailed to members.

The following week, the health unit will host an online question and answer session.

Henderson believes businesses are eager to tell customers their employees adhere to a vaccination policy, “It is critical that we can say to those folks (we’re) fully vaccinated at our business and you can enter safely.”

At Marienbad Restaurant & Chaucer’s Pub, customers are increasingly asking if staff are vaccinated before booking a reservation says owner, Jerry Pribil.

Pribil says customer’s confidence to dine indoors returns when he tells them his staff is vaccinated.

“We need really high customer confidence for people to feel comfortable to come inside after patio season,” he adds.

The London Chamber of Commerce has more than 1,000 member businesses, 87 per cent of which are small businesses.

Henderson believes employee vaccination policies are one step businesses can take to help prevent a shutdown during the pandemic’s fourth wave.

But he believes it could have been easier had consistent rules been created for every business.

“Our government has failed us in not doing what businesses are now doing,” he laments.

As of Sept. 4, the health unit reports 84 per cent of eligible people in London and Middlesex County have received at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine.