Direct employees of N.S.'s provincial government required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19

Government officials in Nova Scotia say all employees working directly under the provincial government will be required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

In a news release on Wednesday, the government said all 11,000 direct employees have until Nov. 30 to get two COVID-19 vaccines. If an employee does not meet the Nov. 30 deadline they could face employment consequences, including unpaid administrative leave, unless they have received an employer-approved exemption.

"As one of the larger employers in the province, I believe government must lead by example to protect our employees and the public we serve from the risk of COVID-19 and its variants and to support the provincial effort to increase vaccination rates," said Colton LeBlanc, Minister of the Public Service Commission.

Full vaccination will also be a condition for new staff being hired.

"I know that not everyone supports these public safety measures that we've taken but this isn't about each of us as individuals. We have to think about what it takes to keep our community safe, our friends, our neighbours. That's the Nova Scotian way," said Nova Scotia Premier Tim Houston. 

Details of the policy and implementation plan are currently being finalized.

As previously announced, Nova Scotia's mandate also applies to:

  • Nova Scotia Health Authority and IWK Health Centre
  • workers in long-term care facilities (licensed and unlicensed) and home-care agencies (publicly and privately funded)
  • public school teachers, pre-primary and other school-based staff, regional and board office staff, and those providing services in schools, including cafeteria and school bus services
  • Hearing and Speech Nova Scotia
  • workers in residential facilities and day programs funded by the Department of Community Services Disability Support Program and adult day programs funded by Department of Seniors and Long-Term Care
  • workers in Department of Community Services facilities and those providing placements for children and youth in the care of the Minister of Community Services (excluding foster family placements)
  • paramedics, LifeFlight nurses and some other staff at EHS
  • physicians and other service providers to the above organizations; for example hairdressers and contractors

Individuals working in the provincial correctional services and the regulated child-care sector are also required to be fully vaccinated against the virus.

This includes:

  • correctional officers
  • youth workers
  • staff volunteers
  • visitors
  • contractors
  • service providers who work in, or provide service to, adult or youth correctional facilities
  • early childhood educators and staff in regulated child care, as well as any volunteers
  • practicum students or other professionals entering these settings