The Toronto Police Service (TPS) says members of the force who were placed on unpaid leave for failing to comply with mandatory COVID-19 vaccination requirement will return to duty late this month.
In a statement emailed to Global News on Wednesday, TPS Const. Alex Li said the service “continues to ensure that our workplaces remain safe, which includes continued COVID-19 measures as appropriate.”
Li said the force’s decision to rescind its COVID-19 mandatory vaccination requirement was “made in response to the current public health and occupational health context of the pandemic and the unique nature of its work and workplaces.”
The force said 99 per cent of its members are fully vaccinated and new hires are “required to be fully vaccinated.”
Li said members who are currently on unpaid absence will “return to duty on June 21, 2022.”
“Officers will be deployed as operationally required by the Service and civilian members will return to their original roles,” the email reads.
In November 2021, the force said 205 members, 117 uniform and 88 civilian, were placed on unpaid leave for either not being vaccinated, or not disclosing their vaccination status.
According to Li, as of Wednesday, 101 people will be returning to duty.
In a statement emailed to Global News, Toronto Police Association (TPA) President Jon Reid said the association has “consistently advocated on behalf of all its members throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.”
“We have been resolute in our focus on our members return to active duty and we are pleased the Service has rescinded its policy,” he said in the statement. “We continue to believe that engaging with the Service and with the assistance of a professional, independent arbitrator is the most appropriate way to rectify all of the outstanding issues and we will continue to do so, in good faith.”