Unvaccinated employees barred from workplaces should be paid wages

The Philippines wants unvaccinated workers not allowed by their employers to enter workplaces to be paid for being present.
By: | August 13, 2021

The Department of Labour and Employment (DOLE) will issue a compliance order to allow unvaccinated workers to report to work, saying the directive of “no jab, no work” has “no legal basis”, said labour secretary Silvestre Bello III. 

Even if employers do not let staff into their workplaces, the latter are considered to have reported for work and thus should be paid, said Bello. 

Bello’s clarification came after complaints labour group Kilusang Mayo Uno said that it has received reports through its workers’ hotline that some companies have discriminated against unvaccinated workers. 

Bello added that unvaccinated workers may call DOLE’s hotline if they were barred from working for not getting vaccinated so that the Labour Department can take disciplinary action against their employers.

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

There is no legal basis for the employers to force their workers to be vaccinated. It is a violation of freedom of choice as guaranteed by the Constitution and is illegal, he said. 

The vaccination rate in the Philippines is low due to a shortage of vaccines, Bello said, according to Inquirer.