Petition to the Government of Canada
The government negatively impacted workers by restricting access to Employment Insurance (EI) when vaccination mandates were implemented in the federal public sector and in federally regulated sectors in October of 2021;
Affected workers were forced on unpaid leave, terminated or dismissed due to their personal decision to not get vaccinated;
Employers were tasked with interpreting the government's guidance, becoming the sole decision makers of whether vaccination exemptions for individual workers would be granted;
The government announced that workers failing to become vaccinated without an exemption would not be eligible for EI;
Employers were advised to report suspended, terminated or dismissed workers for refusing to comply with a vaccine mandate, by coding ROEs with new codes designed to inform Service Canada of non-compliant workers (E for quit, N for LOA and M for dismissed);
Workers are obligated to pay into the EI program and were unjustly denied access when most needed; and
The government’s actions were meant to be coercive by imposing financial hardship as consequences of remaining unvaccinated.
We, the undersigned, citizens and residents of Canada, call upon the Government of Canada to:
1. Remove new ROE codes that identify unvaccinated workers without an approved exemption;
2. Release data using the new ROE codes showing the number of workers negatively affected by the decision to restrict access to EI; and
3. Allow for retroactive eligibility for EI benefits to all workers that were unjustly denied access, and provide full access to benefit payments for periods of unemployment.