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'No COVID-19 vaccine, no pay' scheme violates law — DOLE

'No COVID-19 vaccine, no pay' scheme violates law — DOLE

MANILA, Philippines — A “no COVID-19 vaccine, no pay” scheme is against the law, Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III said on Monday.

“Alam naman natin na ‘yang policy na ‘yan ay labag sa batas. Under the law, hindi mo pwedeng i-hold ang sweldo ng employee mo, unless there is a legal basis or legal cause,” Bello said during the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) briefing.

(We know that the policy is against the law. Under the law, you cannot hold the salary of your employees unless there is a legal basis or legal cause.)

“‘Yung hindi mo pag-va-vaccine o pagbabakuna ay hindi ‘yan legal basis to withhold the salary of the employees,” he added.

(Not being vaccinated is not a legal basis to withhold the salary of the employees.)

Bello noted that the Philippines is a democratic country and citizens have the freedom to decide whether they would get a vaccine or not.

“We should never forget that we are in a democratic country and there is what we call freedom of choice. So, hindi mo pwede pilitin ang isang tao na magpabakuna unless mayroong batas na nagsasabi na dapat tayo ay magpabakuna,” the secretary pointed out.

(You cannot force people to get vaccinated unless there is a law that states it should be mandatory.)

Recently, the Trade Union Congress of the Philippines told

Bello, however, said that they have not received any complaints so far. He urged employees facing the illegal act to report for them to inspect.

“Wala pa naman akong natatanggap na reklamo na ang mga employers ay nag-a-adopt ng policy na no vaccine, no pay,” he said.

(I have not received any complaints that employers are adopting a no vaccine, no pay policy.)

Employers who would be found implementing the illegal policy would be given a compliance directive.

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