Business establishments can require employees to be vaccinated against COVID-19—and withhold their pay if they’re still reluctant to do so—on the basis of the IATF’s latest guidelines on opening the economy, Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III said Thursday (October 21).
In an interview on ANC’s “Headstart,” Bello said the latest IATF ruling provides that businesses can operate at a certain percentage of their capacity provided their workers are fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
“May legal basis na to hold the pay because of violation of an IATF ruling,” Bello said. “Now, there is an obligation on the part of the employer na kailangan vaccinated ang mga empleyado niya so he can also require mga empleyado niya na magpabakuna na because there is a legal basis.”
Metro Manila and other provinces have been placed under the alert level system, which sets the operating capacities per industry. For example, only 30% of indoor dining may be occupied under alert level 3 and will be limited to fully vaccinated customers. In these establishments, all of the restaurant workers must be fully vaccinated as well.
Under Alert Level 3, establishments are allowed to operate at 30% indoor venue capacity only for fully vaccinated individuals and 50% outdoor venue capacity, provided that all employees are fully vaccinated.
“There is a basis now to hold the payment because it will (be) a violation of IATF resolution,” Bello added.