Philippines to allow unvaccinated employees return to work

Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III says the 'no jab, no work' order has no 'legal basis'

Philippines to allow unvaccinated employees return to work

The Philippine Department of Labor and Employment announced on Monday that it will issue a compliance order to allow unvaccinated workers to report to work.                                                                                 

"We will issue a compliance order, a compliance order for them to allow the workers to report to the office," Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III was quoted by Inquirer.net as saying.

According to Bello, the circulating "no jab, no work" order has no "legal basis.

"There is no legal basis for the employers to compel their workers to be vaccinated, in fact it’s a violation of freedom of choice as guaranteed by the Constitution, in fact it is an illegal policy," said Bello.

The compliance order comes amid reports that some employers were discriminating against unvaccinated workers.

Bello warned companies that the department would still consider the discriminated employees as present, hence, they still have to get paid despite being told not to report to work.

"That is our disciplinary action on the order," added Bello in Filipino during the online briefing.

Earlier, Labor Undersecretary Benjo Santos Benavidez clarified that despite the rollout of vaccinations for private sector employees, the department will not recognize potential "no jab, no job" policies from businesses.

The Health Department in the Philippines also made a similar pronouncement, adding that employers should only encourage their laborers to get the jabs.

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