On November 6, amendments to the law “On the management of the spread of Covid-19 infection” came into force, according to which a new paragraph entitled “Epidemiological safety in the workplace environment” was introduced.
The requirements of this paragraph impose an obligation on the employer to determine positions or categories of employees to whom refer requirements and conditions of regulatory enactments on the need to have a certificate of vaccination or earlier illness and inform employees about it.
In turn, the employee is obliged to inform employer on the availability of this certificate and present it as per the procedure established by the employer.
If the employee has not obtained a certificate of vaccination or earlier illness which, according to the employer, is necessary to perform job duties, this is a sufficient reason to believe that this particular employee does not correspond to the work he/she is performing.
If the employer does not have the opportunity to transfer the employee to another acceptable position where a vaccination certificate is not required, or provide employee with a possibility to perform his/her job duties remotely, then the employer is entitled to suspend an employee from performing work duties until the employee obtains a certificate of vaccination or earlier illness, or determine the employee’s idle time through the employee’s fault, without payment of any compensation for suspension from work or for idle time.
It is forbidden to suspend an employee from work for a period exceeding three months.
If after the maximum period of suspension or idle time through the employee’s fault which lasts more than three months, an employee without objective reasons has not obtained a certificate of vaccination or earlier illness, the employer is entitled to immediately terminate work relationship with him/her, having paid severance payment in the amount of one month salary, or in the amount of one average monthly salary pay if the employee has lump-sum wages.
At the same time, the government is obliged to develop exceptions to the requirement of a mandatory certificate of vaccination or earlier illness for the performance of work duties related to health issues of the person.
If the employer is able to provide the employee with the opportunity to work remotely and the nature of the work allows it, and if, as per the employer’s assessment, such an employee does not need a certificate of vaccination or earlier illness, then current normative enactments do not require that an employee is obliged to have a certificate of vaccination or earlier illness.