18.05.2021 Labour law

Is an employer entitled to ask an employee about vaccination against COVID-19?

The programme of vaccinations covers more and more people, but the vaccinations are voluntary. Does an employer have the right to ask an employee about being vaccinated?

Generally, according to the Patients’ Rights Act, the Act on the Prevention and Control of Infections and Infectious Diseases in Humans and the GDPR, all employee health data, apart from periodic and preliminary examinations, are under the protection of medical confidentiality. Any vaccination certificates are also subject to this protection. Moreover, the provisions of the Labour Code exclude information on vaccinations from the scope of employee medical examinations.

Learn more: Amendment to the AML Act – new obligations for beneficial owners

Therefore, as stated above, an employer is not entitled to obtain data about an employee’s vaccination against COVID-19, and the employee is not obliged to provide the employer with such information.

The refusal to provide the employer with information on vaccination cannot also constitute grounds for changing the employment conditions, for discrimination against the employee or for terminating the employment contract with the employee.

The exception when an employer may require information from an employee about COVID-19 vaccination is an order from a competent authority issued in accordance with the so-called Covid Act and the National Sanitary Inspection Act or a situation in which the employee grants consent to do so, but this consent must take into account the GDPR provisions and must be voluntary and clearly indicate the employee’s will.

To sum up, the existing legislation does not give employers the right to obtain information about employees’ vaccinations against COVID-19, or any other vaccinations.

In this situation, the only solution is to appeal to each employee’s sense of social responsibility and solidarity. Informing co-workers about the vaccination seems to be socially appropriate as it influences the working atmosphere.

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