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McCarthy Tétrault advises on OCC’s Vax-Pass Tenets to support business reopening plans


In support of Ontario private sector businesses and their plans for a safe reopening and return to office, McCarthy Tétrault has played a key role in advising the Ontario Chamber of Commerce (OCC) on its proof-of-vaccination framework Vax-Pass Tenets. The framework, announced in a press release by the OCC, outlines five guiding principles for private sector businesses in Ontario as they develop their own proof-of-vaccination policies in the absence of a singular domestic system.

“As Ontario businesses plan for a safe reopening of offices and places of business, COVID-19 remains a threat to our communities,” said Awi Sinha, Co-Lead of McCarthy Tétrault’s Public Sector group. “Vaccination is the most powerful tool we have at our disposal to mitigate this risk. That’s why it’s critical to have this proof-of-vaccination framework in place to keep our communities and workplaces safe, while steering us on the path to economic recovery.”

The multi-disciplinary McCarthy Tétrault team that advised the OCC on its Vax-Pass Tenets consisted of Awi, Kate McNeill-Keller and Trevor Lawson, partners in our Labour & Employment Group, Byron Shaw, a partner in our Litigation Group, and Adam Kanji, an associate in our Litigation Group. Our team is proud to have worked closely with the OCC in the development of this important framework.

Vax-Pass Tenets

As outlined in the OCC press release, here are the five principles that businesses should consider in developing their proof-of-vaccination policies:

  1. Safety: Businesses must take all steps reasonable in the circumstances to protect the health and safety of their workforce and place of business.
  2. Science: Vax-pass programs should be consistent with current science and public health recommendations on COVID-19.
  3. Accommodation: Businesses must provide human rights-related accommodation to the point of undue hardship.
  4. Privacy: Businesses should use the least intrusive mechanism to verify vaccination status.
  5. Transparency: Businesses should engage in clear and ongoing dialogue with employees and customers to manage understanding and expectations and educate stakeholders about the importance of COVID-19 vaccination.

Read more about the OCC’s Vax-Pass Tenets.

Looking to implement a proof-of-vaccination framework? We can help you

McCarthy Tétrault has been actively engaged with business and community leaders in advising on vaccination policies with respect to the workplace and places of business. Our team has wide-ranging experience in labour & employment, public, constitutional and regulatory law, and has been at the forefront of the legal and policy discussions around vaccination mandates. 

If you are considering or need help preparing a vaccine policy, read our article, “Considering a Mandatory Vaccination Policy? Here’s What You Need to Know,” or feel free to reach out to one of our team members listed above. We look forward to helping you.

About McCarthy Tétrault

McCarthy Tétrault LLP provides a broad range of legal services, advising on large and complex assignments for Canadian and international interests. The Firm has substantial presence in Canada’s major commercial centres as well as in New York City and London, UK.

Built on an integrated approach to the practice of law and delivery of innovative client services, the Firm brings its legal talent, industry insight and practice experience to help clients achieve the results that are important to them.


For further information, or to request an interview with a McCarthy Tétrault lawyer, please contact: [email protected]

Vaccine vaccination vaccination passports