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Nova Scotia in talks to let workers who refused vaccination back on the job

Click to play video: 'Some unvaccinated workers being brought back as N.S. lifts policy for non-essential activities' Some unvaccinated workers being brought back as N.S. lifts policy for non-essential activities
WATCH: Some provincial employees and municipal workers who were placed on unpaid leave due to not getting vaccinated are being brought back to work. The province's proof of vaccination requirement lifts Monday for non-essential activities and events. But for healthcare and long-term care workers and visitors, the policies could be here for good. Callum Smith reports. – Feb 25, 2022

Nova Scotia’s premier says the government is in talks to get public sector workers who refused to be vaccinated under the government’s COVID-19 mandates back on the job.

But Tim Houston cautions there are higher risk areas on the front lines of health and long-term care that will likely still require COVID-19 vaccinations when the mandates are eventually lifted.

Although no final decisions have been made, Houston says it’s his belief that COVID-19 vaccines will be added to the list of existing vaccinations that are needed to work in the health field.

Read more: Nova Scotia to resume PCR testing for those with a positive rapid test

Colton LeBlanc, the minister responsible for the public service commission, says a total of 82 public servants from across provincial government departments are currently on administrative leave without pay because they are not vaccinated.

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In early December the province reported that more than 1,000 government and other public sector workers had been placed on unpaid leave, including 963 workers in front-line health care, continuing care, education and corrections.

Houston announced on Wednesday the province will lift all remaining COVID-19 restrictions on March 21.

Halifax rescinds vaccination policy for municipal employees

Meanwhile, Halifax Regional Municipality said Thursday that it will be rescinding its mandatory COVID-19 vaccination policy for municipal employees, students, work placements and volunteers as of Feb. 28.

On that date, the policy for suppliers will also be rescinded.

In a letter to staff, CAO Jacques Dubé wrote that individuals who were non-compliant with the policy will be expected to return to work on Feb. 28, and that managers will be in touch with employees.

— With a file from Global News

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 24, 2022.

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