Around half (53 per cent) of Canadian benefits plan sponsors and two-thirds (65 per cent) of plan members say their workplace implemented a coronavirus vaccination policy, according to the 2022 Benefits Canada Healthcare Survey.

Among plan sponsors, vaccination policies were more likely with unionized workforces (72 per cent compared to 44 per cent of employers with non-unionized workforces), in the public sector (65 per cent compared to 49 per cent in the private sector) and employers with 500 or more employees (61 per cent compared to 40 per cent of employers with fewer than 50 employees).

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Very few plan sponsors felt their vaccination policy (five per cent) or lack thereof (four per cent) had a negative impact on their ability to attract and retain employees. More than half (56 per cent) with a policy felt it had a positive impact and 39 per cent felt it had no impact. However, the results were reversed among those without a policy: 58 per cent felt it had no impact and 38 per cent felt their decision had a positive impact.

The survey also found 71 per cent of plan sponsors indicated some of their employees tested positive for coronavirus, up from 50 per cent a year ago. Four per cent of plan members reported a coronavirus infection, up from two per cent in 2021. The incidence of coronavirus infections was highest among those aged 35 to 44 (eight per cent) and in Quebec (six per cent).

Among plan members, the vast majority (92 per cent) said they’re at least partially vaccinated against coronavirus, including 65 per cent who’ve received both the initial two doses and one booster shot, consistent with reporting from the Public Health Agency of Canada. Just six per cent said they chose not to be vaccinated, while one per cent indicated they couldn’t be vaccinated and two per cent declined answering the question.

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