“No vaccine, no work” policy examined in the Philippines

A labour group has urged the Department of Labour and Employment (DOLE) to investigate companies which discriminate against unvaccinated workers.
By: | August 11, 2021

This came after Kilusang Mayo Uno (KMU) reported receiving complaints through its workers’ hotline that some companies were enforcing the “no vaccine, no work” policy for their staff. 

Labour secretary Silvestre Bello III had earlier said, “Any employee who refuses or fails to be vaccinated shall not be discriminated against in terms of tenure, promotion, training, pay, and other benefits or terminated from employment. [The] ‘no vaccine, no work’ policy shall not be allowed.” 

KMU said it received a complaint against a private utility corporation which told its staff that they could not report to work without proof of COVID-19 vaccination. The labour group said it would collate all complaints before lodging a formal complaint to DOLE. 

In addition, KMU said more than a dozen job seekers who have completed their requirements were abruptly turned away by a human-resource agency when they were unable to show their vaccination cards. Another agency had issued an advisory to employees and applicants that was tantamount to “coerced vaccination”, KMU said. 

READ: Philippines seeks additional finds to help workers through lockdown

To prevent the spread of the virus and to protect those who have yet to be vaccinated, many private businesses are encouraging their staff to work from home whenever possible, according to Inquirer. 

The vaccination rate in the Philippines has remained low due to tight supply. As of August 5, 11.6% of its population have received one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine and 9.9% are fully vaccinated, according to Our World in Data.