No vaccine – no job! A controversial measure

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A controversial measure – no vaccine – no job!  Vaccination against Covid-19 is progressing slowly in most countries.   As a result, several companies and universities in Spain are already considering what they will do when the vaccine becomes more widely available.  In particular, the possibility of making it compulsory for their workers or students to be vaccinated.  Otherwise, workers and students could face the risk of having their contracts terminated or university places vetoed!  

Companies adding clauses

The first company in the UK, aiming to make the vaccine compulsory for its workers, has already emerged. According to British newspaper, The Guardian, Pimlico Plumbers is already preparing new contracts with a clause meaning no vaccine – no job.

In a recent radio interview, owner, Charlie Mullins reasoned: “When we go to Africa or the Caribbean we have to be vaccinated against malaria,”  He continued, “Why can’t we do the same in our country against something that can kill us, when we have a vaccine to stop it? Pimlico Plumbers currently employ around 400 people.

Universities

One university warns students: ‘Those who do not get vaccinated will not be eligible for the internship’. Similarly, in Italy, the Università Cattolica Sacro Cuore in Brescia also warned its nursing students that anyone who does not get a Covid-19 vaccine will not be eligible for vocational training. This is despite the fact that last month the government ruled out forcing people to be vaccinated.

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It´s their right

The vaccination is in its first round for most European countries.  This takes into account of priority groups (the elderly, health workers, emergency personnel, etc.).   However, cases have already begun to emerge of people refusing to be vaccinated, despite their right to do so.

One of the latest cases has been in Spain, where a court has ordered the vaccination of an elderly woman in a nursing home whose relatives refused to have her immunised.

Doubts from legal experts

Legal experts have doubts that forcing workers to be vaccinated is completely legal.  When asked by The Guardian, these experts pointed out that applying such a measure could open the door to companies being sued for discrimination.  This, in a country where not even the executive has the power to force its population to be vaccinated!

In Spain, the debate is also open. There are still no clear rules in the legislation.  As such, the dismissal of a worker who refuses to be vaccinated may be considered inappropriate.  However, in certain key sectors of the economy it could be valid to impose immunisation. In any case, the unions suggest that it should be the government’s decision, not the employers’.

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