The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) firmly states that the ‘no vaccination, no work’ policy is illegal. According to Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III, in a virtual press briefing, there is no legal basis for the policy.
“It is not legal for employers to require the employee to be vaccinated (against COVID-19) before they can enter the workplace. There’s no legal basis for that,” states Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III. Read: No vaccination, no work’ policy illegal – DOLE, an article published in PhilStar Global.
Moreover, Bello warns companies nationwide that enforcing such policy can cause legal consequences, especially if the employee refuses to be inoculated with the COVID-19 vaccine.
“So it will be considered as illegal suspension or illegal dismissal or whatever action the employer will give to the employee who is not yet vaccinated,” Bello stresses. “That will be discrimination. We will come out with necessary and appropriate department order to protect our workers,” he adds.
Bello’s sentiments were echoed by Sen. Francis Tolentino, who authored the anti-discriminatory provision in Republic Act 11525, the COVID-19 Vaccination Program Act of 2021, already signed by President Rodrigo Duterte.
COVID-19 vaccination cards, mandated by the enacted law, should not be a mandatory prerequisite for education, employment, or similar government transactions and should not be a cause of discrimination. Section 12 of RA 11525 states that vaccine cards “shall not be considered as an additional mandatory requirement for education, employment, and other similar government transaction purposes.” Read more: Vaccine in Iloilo City (Live Updates)
The provision safeguards students, regular employees, OFWs, and others from discrimination.
“Hence, inoculation should not be a determinant whether a person is fit or unfit for work. Neither should it be made a prerequisite for acceptance in any educational institutions nor in the availment of government services,” says Sen. Francis Tolentino.