Employers no longer need a COVID-19 operational plan. However, employers must continue to ensure they have implemented measures to prevent the transmission of communicable diseases in the workplace and they must continue to monitor for any changes in Public Health guidance. See Communicable Disease Prevention: A Guide for New Brunswick Employers.
You do not. However, your workplace may choose to continue following the stricter protocols as part of a communicable disease prevention plan. Employees need to follow measures established by their employer.
As an employee, you have an obligation to ensure your own safety and those around you (see Section 12 of the OHS Act). Our Communicable Disease Prevention: A Guide for New Brunswick Employees can help you understand your responsibilities. Familiarize yourself with the measures your employer has in place to prevent the transmission of communicable disease. If you are still concerned about your safety, identify the concern to your supervisor. If you are not satisfied with the response from your supervisor, advise the JHSC at your workplace, if there is one. If you believe it is unsafe to do the work you can refuse, please consult our resources on how to exercise your right to refuse unsafe work.
During an inspection, employers may be asked to demonstrate practices in place to prevent communicable disease transmission in their workplace and that they are following any orders, guidance, or recommendations from Public Health that apply to their workplace. If you have a written communicable disease plan, an officer may ask to see it. If you do not have one, you may be asked to describe the measures you have implemented to mitigate communicable disease.
We strongly encourage you to develop a communicable disease prevention plan. It is important to note that WorkSafeNB may require a written plan depending on the circumstances observed during inspections and investigations.
Communicable disease prevention is based on basic principles for maintaining healthy and safe workplaces. See Communicable Disease Prevention: A Guide for New Brunswick Employees and and Communicable Disease Prevention: A Guide for New Brunswick Employers Depending on your line of work, your professional association or industry association may have additional guidance.
Please consult the New Brunswick Human Rights Commission for advice on vaccination policies. Generally, an employer may be allowed to impose mandatory vaccination rules if these are not explicitly disallowed by public health authorities. These rules should be reasonable, taking into consideration several factors, and must not violate or be perceived to violate human right protections granted in the Human Rights Act. See the Human Rights Commission’s guidelines related to COVID-19. If a workplace establishes a mandatory vaccination policy, they must also be prepared to accommodate workers who are unable to be vaccinated or have remaining risk factors following vaccination – to the point of undue hardship.
Employers are no longer required to conduct daily health screening. As part of communicable disease prevention however, employers must continue to have policies and practices in place so sick workers can avoid being in the workplace. While not required, some employers may choose to maintain health-check protocols.