The Department of Labor and Employment urged private sector employees to report employers, who are implementing a “no vaccine, no work” policy.
DOLE Secretary Silvestre Bello III said it is important for workers to report to the department those companies that are compelling their workers to get vaccinated.
“Just inform us and we will tell the employer. Mr. employer, employee letter A, is complaining that he is not allowed to work because he is not vaccinated. Can you please allow him to report to work? If the employer does not agree, then we will issue an order directing the employer to allow the employee to report. If he refused, we will consider the employee as having reported to the office and then for entitlement for the payment of his salaries,” he said in a virtual forum.
Bello said the DOLE will then issue a compliance order to allow the workers to report to the office and if not complied, “we will tell them okay, don’t let them in, but as far as DOLE is concerned, they are present”.
“They should be paid, that will be our disciplinary action there,” he added.
Asked on the specific violations that can be imposed on employers, Bello said, “The right of the worker to report to work is a basic right.”
“You cannot prevent the employee from reporting to work just because he or she is not vaccinated,” he added.
He said the obligation of an employer to their employees regarding vaccination is to encourage them to get inoculated but the former has to provide the vaccine.
“It is only a question of appealing to them that, if possible, if the vaccine is available, get vaccinated,” he said.
Bello reiterated that the no-vaccine, no-work policy has no legal basis.
“There is no legal basis for the employers to compel their workers to be vaccinated. In fact, it is a violation of the freedom of choice of our countrymen as guaranteed by the constitution. You cannot compel anybody to do something against his will,” he said.
“Nobody, not even the government, could compel anybody to undergo vaccination. More so it is not legal for any employer to require a worker to be vaccinated for him to go to work,” he added.*PNA