Employers can’t fire unvaxed workers: DOLE-10

SOLVE PROBLEMS. Labor and employment officials in northern Mindanao on Friday, November 26, 2021 released clarifications on the consequences employers could face if they implemented a “No vaccine, no work” policy in the region. At a Zoom conference, they clarified that while the government encourages the majority of the population to be vaccinated against the 2019 coronavirus disease, employers cannot fire workers who have refused to be vaccinated. (Screenshot via DOLE-10)

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY – The Northern Mindanao Ministry of Labor and Employment (DOLE-10) clarified on Friday that while the national government is encouraging the public to get vaccinated against the 2019 coronavirus disease (Covid-19), employers cannot fire workers who refuse to be vaccinated. inoculated.

Director Atheneus Vasallo, director of the technical services and support division of DOLE-10, said via the Zoom conference that for contract workers, employers can violate subcontracting and short-term subcontracting agreements. if it turns out that laid-off workers have chosen not to be vaccinated. .

“Whether you are a worker of an entrepreneur, in companies or clients, your job is always protected; the security of tenure is always protected,” he said.

In accordance with the guidelines established by Resolution No. 148-B of the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) and Republic Act 11525 or the Covid-19 Vaccination Program Act 2021, the agency has reiterated that while employers are to require their eligible workers who are responsible for performing “on-site work” to get vaccinated, they cannot fire other employees who have refused to be vaccinated.

Vasallo said those who declined, however, will have to undergo regular RT-PCR (reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction) testing at their own expense, or as prescribed by the companies.

Lawyer Amor Deo Bajarla, head of mediation-arbitration and legal services at DOLE-10, said even regular workers in government and private companies are encouraged to take the vaccines.

He said that under the particular IATF resolution, there is also the required number of workers who need to be vaccinated in government workplaces.

DOLE-10 director Albert Gutib said his agency fully supports the upcoming three-day national vaccination deployment from November 29 to December 1, in accordance with Presidential Proclamation 1253.

He also said employers should consider employees who will participate in the vaccination campaign and should not be marked absent from work as mentioned in the proclamation.

Gutib also cited the specific IATF resolution that requires employees to prove to employers that they have participated in the national vaccination campaign so as not to be considered absent for the day. (ANP)

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