Are you entitled to benefit from employment insurance (EI) if you refuse to follow your employer’s vaccination policy? 

Depends. Was it necessary for the business to have the employee vaccinated? If yes, then you’re likely not entitled to EI benefits. If no, then you may be entitled to EI benefits.

Typically, the only time an individual’s employment insurance claim is denied is when there was “just cause” or the employee voluntarily resigned. This begs the question: does a worker’s refusal to be vaccinated amounts to just cause (serious misconduct).

If the government (provincial or federal) has not yet required a workplace/industry to have its employees/workers vaccinated, then a refusal to be vaccinated may not amount to a just cause dismissal and the worker could be entitled to severance and EI benefits.

If you would like to speak to a lawyer about assessing your legal risks in an employment relationship, please contact Zoe.