Employers can't fire, refuse salary to unvaccinated workers: labor dept

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Oct 21 2021 09:18 AM | Updated as of Oct 21 2021 02:29 PM

San Juan City residents and workers receive their COVID-19 vaccine dose on August 24, 2021. The MMDA said San Juan City will also open to inoculate other citizens soon as they nearly complete vaccinating eligible residents and workers within the city. Mark Demayo, ABS-CBN News
San Juan City residents and workers receive their COVID-19 vaccine dose on August 24, 2021. The MMDA said San Juan City will also open to inoculate other citizens soon as they nearly complete vaccinating eligible residents and workers within the city. Mark Demayo, ABS-CBN News

MANILA—Employers cannot fire their employees or refuse to give them salary for refusing to be vaccinated, the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) said Thursday.

There is no legal basis yet for the mandatory vaccination of workers, said Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III.

"It's not a mandatory obligation of anybody including workers. Wala pa kasing batas (because there's no law yet)," he told ANC's Headstart.

Employers in Metro Manila, however, can cite an Inter-Agency Task Force resolution allowing more businesses to operate if their workers are vaccinated.

"Ayan may legal basis na (Now there's legal basis) to hold the pay because of violation of an IATF ruling," Bello said.

"Now there is an obligation on the part of the employer na kailangan vaccinated ang mga empleyado niya so he can also require mga empleyado niya na magpabakuna na because there is a legal basis."

(Now there is an obligation on the part of the employer to require his workers to be vaccinated because there is a legal basis.)

Bello said he was "not inclined to favor mandatory vaccination" until the country has enough jab supply.

"It’s not prudent to make it mandatory," he said.

He added that he has yet to receive complaints against employers for making COVID-19 vaccination mandatory for their workers.

"As of today, wala pa kong natatanggap na reklamo kahit kanino," he said. "Call 1349, report niyo lang, identify (the employer)."

(As of today, I have yet to receive complaints from anyone. Just call 1349, report and identify.)

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