This update is provided for archival purposes only.

Public Health guidance and University of Waterloo operations may have changed. For the most up-to-date information, please visit our COVID-19 frequently asked questions.

Consequences for non-compliance with vaccine mandate

Friday, October 8, 2021

This message was originally sent to employees by Vivek Goel, President and Vice-Chancellor, and James W.E. Rush, Vice-President, Academic and Provost.

Today, we are writing to individuals on the campus who have not yet complied with the University’s proof of vaccination requirement to let them know about the consequences they may face.

As we announced on August 24, 2021, the deadline to provide proof of vaccination or apply for an accommodation is Sunday, October 17, 2021.

Students and employees who are not compliant by October 17 will be subject to progressive remedial action consistent with University of Waterloo policies.

On Tuesday, October 12, we will begin sharing details of individuals who are not in compliance with the University’s vaccination policy with appropriate managers and academic leaders for the purposes of program administration so that they can plan how to enact progressive discipline activity in their areas and seek support as needed.

Student discipline process

We are letting students who are not currently compliant with the requirement know the following steps for remedial actions:

  1. If a student has not supplied proof of vaccination or applied for an accommodation by October 17 and is registered for in-person courses or activities, we will email them to instruct them to complete an educational module in LEARN. They must complete this educational module within three days of receiving the email.
  2. If the student fails to supply proof of vaccination or request an accommodation by October 17, we will place a hold on the student record in Quest.  This hold will prevent them from adding or swapping current term courses. It will also stop them from registering for future term courses, viewing grades, and accessing transcripts. This hold is consistent with the practice for students who are not fees arranged.
  3. If the student has still not submitted proof of vaccination or applied for an accommodation by October 25, they will be subject to remedial consequences that could include being removed from current course enrollments and prevented from registering in any future terms at Waterloo. They may be referred to the appropriate academic office who will process penalties for non-academic misconduct under Policy 71. 

At any point, if a student submits proof of vaccination, we will remove any holds in Quest and the student can resume in-person activities.

Students who are not currently enrolled in in-person courses or are not coming to the campus do not have to provide proof of vaccination, but we are asking them to attest to submitting proof of vaccination if their plans change and in advance of Winter term. This means they must complete Campus Check-in and provide proof of vaccination if they come to campus.

International students who do not have access to Health Canada-approved vaccines or are working towards their vaccination status and have questions about the October 17 deadline, please contact the International Student Experience team.

Instructors and department chairs can expect to receive further detailed guidance on managing these processes in the coming days.

Employee discipline process

Our process for managing non-compliance for employees will consider the operational, teaching and learning requirements of the institution. We will protect health and safety while ensuring that operational requirements are met and students can finish the current academic term. The process is as follows:

  1. Supervisors will evaluate non-compliant individual circumstances in light of academic and operational circumstances and in consultation with the individual and develop a plan for alternative work options, if they are available. Employees who are not in compliance must complete an educational module in LEARN on vaccines.
  2. Employees determined to be non-compliant and for whom no alternative work options are available will be placed on a three-day paid suspension. The mandatory educational module must be completed before the end of the three-day suspension.
  3. Individuals who remain non-compliant and for whom no alternative work options are available will be subject to a 42-day unpaid suspension with benefits.
  4. If the individual remains non-compliant 14 days before the end of the 42-day suspension, they will receive a letter indicating that their pay and benefits will cease at the end of the suspension. 

All employees will be required to be fully vaccinated by the start of the Winter term in January 2022.

Employees who are on sabbaticals or leaves away from campus will receive a letter two months before their scheduled date of return that outlines the University’s vaccination proof requirements that must be satisfied before they can return to campus.

The vaccination form is quick and easy to complete.  Your  personal  information will be kept confidential  in compliance with statutory privacy requirements and will only be shared with  individuals for the purpose of program administration.  

Department heads and managers can expect to receive further detailed guidance on managing these processes in the coming days. 

We  will provide accommodations for unique cases where individuals cannot be vaccinated for medical reasons or protected human rights grounds. To apply for an accommodation, please follow the prompts in the proof of vaccination form.  

More information is available on the COVID-19 information website.

If you are struggling with your mental health during these changing times, reach out for support through Human ResourcesOccupational HealthHere247 and Wellness Together Canada. Ongoing employees can access supports through Homewood Health, the University’s Employee and Family Assistance Program partner or at 1-800-663-1142.