Mandatory Vaccination of Employees Against Influenza? – SSW Expert Commentary in Dziennik Gazeta Prawna Newspaper
Our expert, Bartosz Tomanek, comments in Dziennik Gazeta Prawna (Daily Legal Newspaper) about the mandatory vaccination of employees against influenza.
The method of regulating the issue of vaccinations for a given employer should be the result of an assessment of the occupational risk occurring at specific jobs.
The necessity of not allowing a person who does not meet the statutory requirements of the appropriate vaccinations to work is also argued by the employer responsible for the employee and third parties in the event of infection with the illness due to culpable negligence of OSH obligations. There is a liability for damages and injuries suffered by the person who has been infected.Employees should treat the order to go to obligatory vaccination as a business order. Failure to do so may result in employee liability. Depending on the circumstances of the case, it cannot be excluded that a refusal could give rise to termination of the employment contract.
Only if the employer prevented the employee from undergoing mandatory vaccination, it cannot be ruled out that such an unvaccinated employee could refrain from performing work, because continuing his professional duties could endanger the health or life of other people, i.e. patients or restaurant customers.
Bartosz Tomanek also referred to the doubts regarding asking about vaccinations during job interviews:
Requesting such information from a job applicant goes beyond the catalog of data referred to in article 221 paragraph 1 of the Labor Code. Information about vaccinations may be treated as sensitive personal data. In addition, a candidate who discloses such information who will not be admitted to work may raise the argument that his negative attitude towards vaccinations led him to not being employed. Therefore, claims related to discrimination in employment cannot be excluded. In this case, we can talk about a potential possibility of discrimination. After recent changes to the provisions of the Labor Code, the catalog of prohibited discrimination criteria is open. This means that a rejected candidate may consider that he or she has not receive a contract, i.e. due to his/her health or views expressed about vaccinations. In such a situation, he or she will be able to claim compensation from the employer in an amount not lower than the minimum remuneration for work, i.e. currently PLN 2,600. Interestingly, the regulations do not provide for a monetary limit for such a claim.