EMPLOYERS may start to implement on December 1 the “no work, no pay” policy on employees required to work onsite but cannot do so because they refused to get vaccinated against coronavirus disease (Covid-19) or undergo an RT-PCR test, a labor official said.
Labor Assistant Secretary Teresita Cucueco said in an online briefing Monday, November 22, that this is in accordance with the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases Resolution 148, which was issued on November 12 and was amended by Resolution 149 on November 18.
The two resolutions require unvaccinated employees to present a negative RT-PCR test result should they be required to work onsite.
RT-PCR (reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction) tests should be done at least once every two weeks at their own expense. Rapid antigen Covid-19 tests may also be accepted if RT-PCR capacity is “insufficient or not immediately available” in the area.
“The worker may work from home if there is a work-from-home arrangement. But if there’s none and the worker is really needed onsite, the worker can work but should undergo testing. Now if they still refuse that, any remaining leaves may apply. If there are no more leaves, they would have to go to ‘no work, no pay,’” Cucueco said.
She added that those who are partially vaccinated, or only had one dose yet are not covered by the protocol as long as they already have the schedule of their second dose.
She said the Department of Labor and Employment will no longer issue an advisory regarding the IATF’s protocol, saying it is automatically executory. But Cucueco had no prescribed penalties on employers and employees who will not comply with the IATF protocol.
She warned, though, about the risk of not being vaccinated, especially on the possibility of getting severe or critical illness due to Covid-19.
Cucueco encouraged unvaccinated employees to take advantage of the upcoming three-day National Vaccination Days to get inoculated. So far, over 32.9 million individuals have been fully vaccinated in the Philippines.
In Cebu, the Mandaue Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MCCI) said it would follow the resolutions released by the government agencies to also help the country attain herd immunity and protect the community, which is the basis for the economy’s reopening.
MCCI president Steven Yu said this is a last mile effort of the government to eventually attain full herd immunity and help restore pre-pandemic normalcy.
“It is only through full vaccination of the population that we can squash this virus, and revive the lost livelihoods. We will never attain full normalcy without full immunity,” he told SunStar Cebu. (JOB / SunStar Philippines)