Context

A pandemic is a widespread occurrence of an infectious disease over a whole country or the world at a particular time. Starting at the end of 2019 and continuing in 2021, COVID-19 is a viral infection that is highly contagious and continues to mutate into new variants that can spread more easily and make people sicker.  It has disrupted economies and societies globally in very obvious ways like the number of people who have been infected or died and in less obvious ways like the impact on numerous industries, the labour market, immigration, and so on.

As residents of Canada, we are fortunate to have access to a significant supply of effective vaccines to allow all our population to be vaccinated. As we begin to emerge from the isolation forced on us by the pandemic, companies and non-profits are struggling to develop and implement policies related to mandatory vaccination.

Our Policy

At this time, the focus of this policy is COVID-19 although its provisions will also apply to other infectious diseases of a similar, virulent, and contagious nature unknown to us at time of writing. It is effective immediately.

The Osborne Group’s policy on the COVID-19 vaccination is three-fold. All our Principals, Associates, and employees shall be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 as defined by public health and the Ministry of Health in Ontario. Those with a valid, documented medical exemption consistent with Ontario public health guidelines will only be allowed to work virtually with others in The Osborne Group, its clients, and the public. The ability of Principals or Associates without an official medical exemption to work with clients will be situation-specific and totally virtual.

The rationale underpinning this position is protection and prevention – we are not going to take any risks that one of us would be the transmitter of COVID-19 to any of our clients, their employees, or their clients, many of whom are amongst the most vulnerable in society.

Furthermore, we will provide assurances to clients and prospects that our Principals, Associates, and employees will comply with their COVID-19 protocols and policies, including any additional testing regime they may have implemented, any requirement to provide proof of vaccination, to wear masks in the office, and any other protocols that the client may have in place.

Lastly, in order to ensure the health and safety of our Principals, Associates, and employees, The Osborne Group will not require any of our Principals, Associates, or employees to undertake a consulting or interim management contract with a client who does not have an acceptable COVID-19 protocol or policy as determined by the Managing Partner of the Osborne Group and the Principal involved with that client or prospect.

Policy Implementation

1. Documentation Requirements

The implementation of this policy requires that:

All current Principals, Associates, employees, contractors, and vendors of The Osborne Group must be able to show proof of full vaccination against COVID–19 with a vaccine that has been approved by the Federal Government and administered in accordance with public health and Ministry of Health guidelines.

Any current Principal, Associate or employee who is unvaccinated must provide a documented medical exemption that complies with Ontario public health guidelines.

Any current Principal or Associate who is unvaccinated because the risk of vaccination is too high according to and documented by their medical practitioner, but that reason is not recognized by the Ontario public health guidelines must provide a letter from that medical practitioner supporting the medical reason.

All Principals, Associates, and employees will disclose to Krista Sweet, Manager of Finance and Administration whether they are:

  • Fully vaccinated according to Ontario Ministry of Health and public health standards
  • Partially vaccinated
  • Have a documented medical exemption that meets Ontario public health guidelines
  • Have a documented medical exemption that does not meet Ontario public health guidelines
  • Unvaccinated with no intention of being vaccinated in the future

If a Principal, Associate or employee is fully or partially vaccinated, they are required to provide proof of their vaccination to Krista Sweet at [email protected] Krista will file the record of their vaccination in their personnel file.

If a Principal, Associate or employee does not have a copy of their vaccine receipts, they can access them by going to  https://covid19.ontariohealth.ca/app-home .

If a Principal or employee has a medical reason not to be vaccinated, they need to provide written proof of the medical reason that satisfies Ontario public health guidelines, provided by a physician or registered nurse, that sets out:

  1. the medical reason for not being fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and
  2. the effective time period for the medical exemption.

This documentation needs to be provided to Krista Sweet at [email protected] and she will file it in their personnel file.

If a Principal, Associate, or employee believes they have a medical reason not to be vaccinated that is supported by a medical practitioner but is not consistent with Ontario public health guidelines but is acceptable to The Osborne Group they need to provide written proof of the medical reason, provided by a physician that sets out:

  1. the medical reason for not being fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and
  2. the effective time period for the medical exemption.

This documentation needs to be provided to Krista Sweet at [email protected] and will be filed in their personnel file.

If a Principal, Associate or employee is presently unvaccinated, they can access clinics through the Ontario government portal at https://covid-19.ontario.ca/book-vaccine/

Contractors and vendors will provide proof of vaccination to Krista Sweet prior to the time of engagement.

The Osborne Group will make every effort to secure the details of the COVID-19 policy and protocol of prospective clients prior to the signing of a contract. If this is not possible because the prospect or client does not have any COVID-19 policies of protocols or does not provide them for other reasons, the Managing Partner and the Principal or Associate involved will assess the current practices of the prospective client to determine the risk of assuming the engagement.

2. Responsibilities

The Managing Partner and the Manager, Finance and Administration are responsible for the administration of this Policy. The Manager, Finance and Administration is responsible for the confidentiality and security of Principal and employee records.

While we cannot enforce our own policy on our clients and prospects, we will require all clients and prospects to share their COVID-19 policies with us so we have an understanding of what risks we need to be aware of with their staff and clients. In addition, this will help inform the decisions that The Osborne Group makes about the deployment of its Principals. Recognizing that some of our clients and prospects will not have such policies, the Managing Partner and the Principal involved will assess the current practices of the prospective client to determine the risk of assuming the engagement.

Consequences of Non-Vaccination by Principal, employee, or Principal recruit

1. Principals and Associates

If a Principal or Associate cannot provide proof of full vaccination or cannot provide medical information from their physician to support an exemption, The Osborne Group will not expose prospects or clients to risk by putting that person forward for potential in-person assignments.  Should any unvaccinated Principal or Associate be put forward for virtual assignments, their vaccination status would be disclosed to the client at that time along with our restriction that they can only work virtually.  In addition, an unvaccinated Principal, Associate or employee will not be able to attend in-person meetings or social events hosted by The Osborne Group or a client.

If a Principal is unvaccinated, it is their responsibility to inform other Principals who are considering referring them to a client about their status in the first conversation about the opportunity so the referring Principal can properly assess whether they will satisfy the COVID-19 policy and protocols of their client. Unvaccinated Principals or Associates will only provide service virtually.

For current Principals who are not compliant with this policy or their medical exemption is not considered satisfactory by The Osborne Group, they will be provided a notice period of 60 days to rectify the situation after which their Principal Agreement will be terminated if the required documentation is not provided to the Manager, Finance and Administration.

2. Employees

If an employee cannot or will not provide proof of full vaccination, , The Osborne Group will provide them with a notice period of 60 days to rectify the situation after which their employment will be terminated if the required documentation is not provided to the Manager, Finance and Administration.

3. Principal and Employee Recruits

A Principal or employee recruit must provide proof of full vaccination, initially verbally and subsequently in writing. Either the interviewing Principal or the Manager, Finance and Administration will request this information verbally at the time the first interview is set up. The request for formal documentation will be provided at the same time as the candidate provides their references to the Recruitment Lead.  If this documentation is not provided, The Osborne Group will terminate the recruitment process at that point.

Dispute Resolution

If an unvaccinated Principal or employee thinks that they have been unfairly treated under this policy, the matter can be referred to the Board of Directors for final decision. The complaint should be made with the Vice President of the Board.