The covid-19 vaccine is a lifesaver. The discovery of COVID-19 vaccines is a proven major step towards combating the pandemic. The results are enormous that COVID-19 vaccines are now available to millions of people around the world.
They deliver life-saving guards from a deadly virus that has claimed the lives of millions. They are the best way to stay safe in the face of a pandemic. The vaccination process is gaining momentum worldwide, but still, people have many confusions regarding covid-19 vaccination and the workplace. We will now discuss some of the most important points.
Is It Possible For An Employer To Force Employees To Get Vaccinated?
Employers cannot force employees to get vaccinated. This is a rule of thumb. However, there are few exceptions to the general rule for certain employee groups who may be exposed to specific health risks while serving their job.
A particular test or vaccination may be required to protect employees from illness or infection. The vaccination is considered minimally intrusive to the person’s body. It should therefore be justified legally.
Employers cannot make employees vaccinated without their choice, except for the legal requirements. There is no legal reason to require employees to get vaccinated unless a clear and substantial legal change has been made. To know more on covid-19 vaccination, click here.
Can An Employee Refuse To Get Vaccinated?
There is no legal reason to make anyone take the vaccine, even employees who are under the obedience of an employer. In the context of work, the employer’s general obligation to protect employees’ health (provided under the Code of Wellbeing at Work and the law of 4 Augustus1996) could be invoked.
Employers could use this motive to demand that their employees be vaccinated before they come to work in order to fulfill their legal obligation to save the workers’ health. Employers can use this argument to fire employees who refuse to get the vaccine but still want to work.
This statement isn’t solid, as employees have the right to choose when they are vaccinated. It doesn’t signify freedom will always be absolute. However, in order to allow for exceptions, there must be a legal base, or the action should be proportionate to its purpose.
Privacy and data protection
Only the individual concerned can give their express consent to processing confidential health data. Employers are not allowed to keep records of employees’ vaccination status without their permission. This includes information that is shared by the employee unprompted.
Therefore, it is forbidden for an employer to condition access to his workplace on the submission of a Covid-19 vaccination certificate. This would violate free nature and consent. This does not alter the fact that an employee may be dismissed if they fail to follow the safety precautions imposed within the context of the corona crisis.
Employers can raise awareness about the vaccine and encourage employees to get it without putting pressure on them. Employers can offer favorable incentives to employees by delivering the vaccine at no cost, without taxes, or contributing to social security.
The Council of Ministers has approved a preliminary draft of a law that would allow employees to take paid “vaccination leaves .”Once approved by the Council of State, this provisional measure will allow employees to leave work to get vaccinated.
In the meantime, the framework agreement between the social partners on the right to be absent from work in order to receive the vaccine is being negotiated.
What Resources Are Available To Help Employers Understand The Importance Of Their Vaccination Policies?
Employers can refer to these resources for more information about how to develop a mandatory vaccine policy.
- Branch And Business Associations: Employers might want to consult their company and business organizations for information and resources typical to their work environment.
- Employers’ Advisers: Employers may also call the Employers’ Advisers office of their respective areas to receive additional guidance and assistance regarding COVID-19, as well as workplace vaccinations.
- The Human Right Approach To Vaccination: This approach teaches employers how to consider the following factors when deciding whether to implement a mandatory vaccination policy in their workplace.
- Equitable Access: Employers need to recognize and remove any obstacles that deny vaccine access to the workforce. They also need to balance the requirement for vaccines with the support and facilitation of vaccination.
- Evidence-based: The policies of vaccines must be evidence-based and take into consideration the chance of transmission in each setting. These vaccination policies must be in line with the most current public health guidance and the latest scientific knowledge of the risks that are present in this setting.
- Time-limited: Vaccination guidelines should be reviewed and time-limited, just like public health officer orders. This ensures that they meet their specific purpose and reflect the current understanding of COVID-19 risks.
- Proportionality: Vaccine status policies must be proportional to the workplace and health risks. This requires careful assessment of workplace hazards and wider uptake of vaccines in public.
- Necessary: Employers should consider other options to achieve the same result, and any policy that includes a policy about sharing vaccine status with employees must be considered.
- Privacy concerns: The employer must be acquainted with their obligation to address privacy laws and situations.
While there are no immediate employment implications for employees refusing to be vaccinated, it is possible that this will change in the future. The European vaccination passport, which is currently being debated, can have significant consequences for international employees who often travel to different countries. It is unclear if the Belgian legislator will be able to anticipate these situations or how courts will decide whether dismissals or refusals will be made in this setting.
We hope this article will help you to know about the various policies of covid-19 vaccination and the workplace. You can make a small gesture for your employees by introducing a COVID-19 vaccination policy at work in a thoughtful, compassionate and clear manner. This applies to your business’s health as well as your employees’ health. Employee engagement times of distress, reassurance, and support are important.