Vaccination for Covid-19 is one of the ways to end the global pandemic. This has been resorted to by many countries since December 2020. And now, the Philippines has started its vaccination program by prioritizing the healthcare workers and the senior citizens while leaving the private employees vaccination expenses to their private employers.
In line with this, the Department of Labor And Employment issued Labor Advisory No. 03 providing guidelines on the administration of Covid 19 vaccines in the workplace. According to the said advisory, the employer shall shoulder the payment for the vaccines of its employees. Employers should not transfer the procurement of vaccines to their employees whether directly or indirectly.
For the record, vaccination is not mandantory and only voluntary but the government encourages the public to get vaccinated to be protected for Covid-19. The employer cannot compel, discrimate, and terminate the employees who are not vaccinated.
Significantly under Labor advisory No. 03, “a no vaccine, no work” policy is not allowed. Thus, employers should never make the vaccination a requirement for employees to work for them.
Since vaccination is purely voluntary, whatever the effects of the vaccine to the vaccinated employee, the employer will not be held accountable to it unless there has been gross negligence on the part of the employer. Aside from vaccination, employers are still required to provide a safe work environment by implementing strict COVID-19 prevention measures in the workplace, which includes practicing social distancing within the workplace, temperature checks, compulsory use of face masks, frequent sanitization, and adopting flexible work arrangements.