'No Covid certificate, no job' law advanced by government

At a meeting on Tuesday, October 19, the Cabinet of Ministers accepted amendments to the Law which, inter alia, provide for the right of employers to fire employees who do not have an interoperable certificate of vaccination or recovery, Justice Minister Jānis Bordāns said at a briefing.

The amendments are still to be approved by the Saeima.

In line with the amendments to the law, the employer would be obliged to identify the groups of professions where an interoperable vaccination or recovery certificate is required for the performance of work duties. If the worker does not have the required certificate by November 15, they can be transferred to another appropriate job until the certificate has been obtained.

If there is no possibility of a transfer, or if there is no agreement on it, the employee may be suspended from work without pay. The suspension of the worker may take until the worker has obtained the relevant interoperable certificate, but in any event for a maximum of three months.

If, during the period of suspension, a certificate has not been obtained for no justifiable objective reason, it shall be sufficient grounds to believe that the person does not comply with the duties of the position or work to be carried out, and the employer has the right to terminate the employment relationship with him or her without delay.

If a person has an objective justifiable reason, the employer has no right to dismiss them. An objective reason can be a decision by a medical council, or unforeseeable circumstances why a person has not been able to get the vaccine, like an injury or being abroad. Upon the expiry of such circumstances, the worker or official shall be obliged to take immediate action to obtain a certificate.

Previously, the rules applied only to workers in healthcare, education, and social care, but now have been extended to all positions where there is contact with customers or where the employer deems a certificate to be necessary for other reasons.

 

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