Jabs for jobs – Companies require ‘mandatory’ shots from staff

Pinch ... EFL employee Waisea Fong gets his first jab of the AstraZeneca vaccine at the Kinoya Village hall in Nasinu. Picture: JOVESA NAISUA

Reports that some companies are requiring ‘mandatory’ COVID-19 vaccination has spurred debate on social media on an individual’s right to choose.

And 14 days after The Fiji Times asked the office of the Human Rights and Anti-Discrimination Commission to take a position on the issue, nothing has been forthcoming.

Director Ashwin Raj said yesterday he would issue a statement soon.

Support for workers’ right to “freedom of choice” say those who are vaccinated should feel safe if they have confidence in the vaccine.

They also argue that World Health Organization experts and medical professionals such as Health Ministry permanent secretary Dr James Fong have said that those vaccinated can still get and also transmit the virus.

Others say the rights of employees who choose not to be vaccinated have to be balanced against the rights of those they share the same space with and the legal obligations of the employer and the employees family.

Yesterday’s exchanges on social media was spurred by reports that claimed workers at the Fiji Islands Revenue and Customs Authority were told they had to vaccinate or lose their jobs.

The Fiji Law Society says the employers obligation also includes ensuring they comply with their legal obligations under the Employment Relations Act “as they determine what they should do in the current situation”.

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