Employers cannot push employees to get vaccinated

Information on Covid vaccination creates a clash between employees’ right to privacy and the employer’s duty to create a safe work environment.

Illustrative stock photoIllustrative stock photo (Source: Unsplash)

This article was published in the Career & Employment Guide 2021, our special annual publication focused on the labour market, human resources and education.

More than 1.7 million people in Slovakia received their first Covid jab before the end of May. The authorities expect that all those still waiting their turn should receive the vaccine no later than by the end of June.

But not everyone is enthusiastic about getting vaccinated. Two polls conducted in March 2020, one by the Slovak Academy of Sciences and one by the non-governmental think tank Globsec, show that about one quarter of the population remains reluctant, as almost 29 percent or 24 percent respectively would not opt for inoculation.

Employers may soon face a problem where some employees will be vaccinated while others will reject the jab. Since Covid-19 vaccination is voluntary in Slovakia, employers cannot demand that their employees get inoculated, nor can they discriminate against anyone on the basis of their vaccination status, lawyers say.

“An employee’s health is their private issue,” said Viktor Križan of the Department of Labour Law and Social Security Law of Trnava University. Vaccination, like a flu jab, was never an issue at the workplace before Covid-19 arrived, he noted.

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