Employers can decline unvaccinated candidates in the Philippines

President Rodrigo Duterte has said there is a legal basis for employers to refuse to hire potential staff who are still unvaccinated against COVID-19.
By: | November 11, 2021

“I think it is legal. You have the right to refuse to accept as an employee somebody who is not vaccinated and would go and join the rest of the employees in a factory or whatever workplace that you have,” Duterte said during his weekly taped address.

Employers have the right to protect their businesses and vaccinated employees, Duterte said, adding “You’re just protecting business and other people. What could be the legal argument against it?”.

The President emphasised the importance of getting vaccinated against COVID-19 saying, “Everytime it (COVID-19) visits your body, and you have the bakuna (vaccine) already, the attack…the severity of the damage to your health is lessened progressively.”

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For those already employed, Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra had earlier said there is no legal basis for employers to coerce staff to get vaccinated. This is in line with the stance of the Department of Labour and Employment (DOLE) which also said employees cannot be sacked just because they are unvaccinated, according to CNN Philippines.