The issue of vaccination and a return to the “new normal” is stirring debate around the world. For example, in the United States, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the federal agency tasked with enforcing laws against employment discrimination, has determined that employers can compel their workers to be vaccinated. That sparked controversy.
Can workers be forced to vaccinate to return to offices? Can an unvaccinated employee return to work? What happens if I refuse the vaccination? These are some of the questions employers ask themselves and worry about.
In Argentina, solutions that can be implemented create a rift between the public and private sectors. In April and June of this year, two official decisions were published jointly by the Secretariat for Administration and Public Employment (Cabinet headquarters), the Ministry of Labor and the Ministry of Health. And they opened the way for state offices to intimidate public sector workers into returning to existence 14 days after the first dose of the Covid vaccine was given. It also gave permission for the private sector to do so.
Resolutions include populations at risk, with some exceptions. These are female workers over the age of 60, pregnant women, and those with medical conditions. Only cases of immunocompromised persons and transplanted cancer patients are excluded.
For Argentine companies, the primary difference between state firepower and private employers is that the same business restrictions do not apply to the former. In the private sector, they complain that the alert options to go to work are very limited due to the ban on dismissal and double compensation.
“We tell them they have to go back and they answer: ‘And if I don’t want to, then what?’ “It is a difficult situation because we do not have legal tools,” complains a businessman from the industrial sector.
The problems of resuming existence are not limited to the possibility of forcing the vaccinated to return to their jobs, but also on the contrary. There are people who do not want to be vaccinated and these cases should be raised with a rule. There are many cases that do not even suffer from serious illnesses and do not return to work,” explained labor attorney Julian de Diego.
The mandatory nature of immunization is causing controversy even within governments. The Argentine Ministry of Labor confirmed that it is not evaluating a change to the regulation on this subject and that vaccination will remain optional. Weeks ago, Axel Kiselov, the governor of the province of Buenos Aires, declared: “The vaccine must be mandatory, because those who are not vaccinated and become infected not only endanger themselves, but also everyone else.”