‘No vax, no pay’ firms warned

The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) on Tuesday said it has not yet received any complaint regarding the “no vaccine, no salary” policy, but reiterated it would sue employers who withhold the salaries of employees who have not been vaccinated against COVID-19.

Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III encouraged employees who experienced such a practice to formally report their concern to DOLE by visiting the department’s office or calling its hotline.

Meanwhile, the Concerned Doctors and Citizens of the Philippines (CDC Ph) called on the Labor department to enforce its current guidelines prohibiting employers from mandating vaccinations as a prerequisite for employment.

The request came as several business groups released a statement asking for the government to allow companies to impose stricter requirements on unvaccinated employees and patrons, and to decline unvaccinated job applicants.

“CDC Ph supports the current policy of DOLE prohibiting companies from imposing no vaccine, no work policies,” Dr. Homer Lim, president of CDC Ph said.

“It’s clear that DOLE saw early on that vaccine mandates are a form of discrimination in the workplace.”

“There are Filipinos who are willing to be voluntarily vaccinated, and there are other Filipinos who are concerned that current COVID-19 vaccines were approved only under an emergency use authorization without long-term clinical trials on side effects and adverse reactions,” Lim said.

Rizal 2nd District Rep. Fidel Nograles echoed calls to the DOLE to investigate employers who impose a “no vaccine, no salary” scheme.

The Trade Union Congress of the Philippines on Sunday said some companies reportedly refused to pay unvaccinated employees’ salaries until they can show vaccination cards proving they have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

Nograles said that mostly daily wage workers living outside Metro Manila would bear the brunt of such a policy amid the incomplete distribution of vaccines outside of the National Capital Region (NCR).

Until the supply of vaccines is distributed more equitably, workers residing in areas outside NCR have basically no control over when to get vaccinated unless their employers provide the vaccines themselves, Nograles said.

Earlier, Nograles urged the national government to also expedite the vaccination of “commuter towns” around Metro Manila, which include Montalban, San Mateo, Antipolo, Cainta and Taytay in Rizal; Obando, Meycauayan, Marilao and San Jose del Monte in Bulacan; Bacoor, Dasmariñas in Cavite; and San Pedro in Laguna.

Topics: Department of Labor and Employment , Concerned Doctors and Citizens of the Philippines , COVID-19 , Fidel Nograles
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