DEPARTMENT of Labor and Employment Secretary Silvestre Bello III on Thursday, March 4, 2021 said the reported “no vaccine, no work” policy in some companies is illegal.
He said a company cannot force its employees to get vaccinated against coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19).
He said this policy can be considered discriminatory since there is limited supply of vaccines.
Earlier, the Associated Labor Union (ALU) said they have received reports from workers in the agriculture, manufacturing and services (hotels, restaurants and call centers) sector that their employers were requiring them to get vaccinated.
ALU-Trade Union Congress of the Philippines spokesperson Alan Tanjusay said they will help the workers file complaints against their employers who would implement the no vaccine, no work policy.
Senator Joel Villanueva, chairman of the Senate committee on labor, said he will ask the DOLE to issue guidelines regarding the matter in order to ensure the protection of the workers especially those who opt not to get the vaccine.
“A worker who is not yet immune from the virus shouldn't lose his immunity from being fired arbitrarily," he said in a statement.
Instead of threatening employees, Villanueva said employers should help the government in encouraging their people to get inoculated through confidence building programs.
"There has to be a concerted effort to bring up the degree of trust on vaccines because the restoration of jobs lost in the pandemic, and to a larger extent, our economic recovery, depend on the success of the vaccination program,” he said.
“If it is a brand even doctors are rejecting, you can understand where the hesitancy is coming from,” he added. (Third Anne Peralta-Malonzo / SunStar Philippines)