Work options for unvaxxed workers up to employers: DOLE

By Ferdinand Patinio

November 22, 2021, 4:55 pm

<p><em>(File photo)</em></p>

(File photo)

MANILA – Employees who are still unvaccinated against the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) have options to be able to work and get paid, an official of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) said on Monday.

In a virtual forum, Labor Assistant Secretary Ma. Teresita Cucueco said this is possible through arrangements with their employers.

“If he/she has a work-from-home arrangement, he can work from home. but if he doesn't have it and he really needs to be onsite, he can work, right? But they have to be tested. Now, if they still refuse that and he/she has leave (credits), it will apply. If they don't have (leave credits) they would have to go to no work, no pay. But there are options. They would just need to be tested,” she said.

She added that the department continues to encourage workers to get the vaccine against coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19).

“What we are saying here is you do have an option if you don't like (to get inoculated)... because if he doesn't want that, they can take the test regularly,” Cucueco said.

Earlier, the government said the vaccination of eligible employees who are doing on-site work in both the public and private sectors will be required in areas where there are sufficient vaccine supplies.

The Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID), in Resolution No. 148-B, provides for the implementation of measures to increase demand for Covid-19 vaccinations but except when all the onsite employees/workers of an establishment are required under the Alert Level System Guidelines to be fully vaccinated.

It added that all partially vaccinated employees in the public and private sector tasked to do onsite work need not undergo regular reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) test at their own expense, as long as their second dose is not yet due pursuant to the interval prescribed for the brand of vaccine received as first dose.

As for the requirement of regular RT-PCR (reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction) tests for purposes of onsite work, the IATF said its frequency shall be construed as that determined by the employer but which should be at least once every two weeks. (PNA)