Andrew Peller Ltd. is one of several companies in Niagara working on a vaccination policy for the safety of employees and customers.
Vintage Hotels also joins that group of Niagara businesses, as does Arterra Wines Canada.
Although their goals are the same, the details of their policies may vary, says Greg Berti of Andrew Peller.
Ontario’s vaccine passport system for customers frequenting certain businesses begins today, Sept. 22, and in addition to those regulations, Peller has shared its vaccine policy details with its staff. The company has 1,500 employees across Canada, says Berti, vice-president of international marketing and industry relations, and theirs is a national policy. Staff will all be expected to be fully vaccinated, and must notify the company of their vaccination status by Oct. 1.
He believes a large number of staff are already vaccinated, although he won’t know the exact percentage until Oct. 1.
The policy will include office staff, vineyard employees, those working in Peller restaurants and retail stores, says Berti — every current employee and new hire.
“This is certainly uncharted territory,” he says of how to handle those who don’t comply with the policy.
The expectation is that they will be considered on a case-by-case basis, depending on their reason for not being fully vaccinated, he says, and may require testing more frequently. “Every option is on the table. We are taking this very seriously. We would certainly encourage people to get vaccinated. Maybe they all will be. That would be wonderful.”
The policy was not created “from the top down,” but rather from employees who have want to go to work in a place that is safe for them, and for customers as well.
As the winery restaurants begin to ask for proof of vaccination Sept. 22, he says, he is hoping it will go smoothy, without any issues. Staff have been trained to handle it, and most people should be prepared for it, he says.
“I feel we’re not going to have any major issues. We’re all in this together, and staying safe is the spirit with which we are going into this.”
Paul MacIntyre, vice-president of Vintage Hotels, says the company, which includes The Pillar and Post, The Prince of Wales and Queen’s Landing, is “committed to creating and maintaining a safe and healthy work environment for all of our team members.”
Lais Hotel Properties Ltd. implemented a vaccination policy for all current and new employees to protect team members and their families, guests, visitors and members of the community, says MacIntyre. “Through this process, it is critical that we communicate clearly and often with the team. And we are committed to making every resource available to them.”
The company also continues to employ “Duty of Care” policies with adherence to the strictest of COVID-related protocols; meeting and often exceeding provincial and regional guidelines.
He was not able to share the details of the policy.