Minister: Number of social workers who reject COVID tests is insignificant

NEWS 04.10.2021 13:36
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Source: N1, Ilustracija

Social Policy Minister Josip Aladrovic said on Monday that he is not aware of any problems in the field regarding mandatory COVID certificates in the social welfare sector, with the exception of two locations where a minimal number of workers refuse to be tested.

“I don’t have any information about any problems in the field at the moment. There are two locations where a minimal number of workers refuse to be tested,” Minister Aladrovic told reporters on Monday at a presentation of reforms in the social welfare system.

He added that he did not “see any rational reason to refuse vaccination,” and noted that if someone did not wish to be vaccinated, they could obtain a COVID certificate in another way. As of Monday, COVID certificates are mandatory for all employees in social welfare and healthcare institutions.

Aladrovic expects the number of people who do not wish to be tested or vaccinated to be minimal. In cases of people not complying, they will be penalised and if they should continue to refuse to comply, their employment contract could be terminated, he said.

He explained that employers will take steps according to the Labour Act against employees who cannot prove their health status with a COVID certificate, or if someone should not arrive at work or does not have a justified reason for not appearing at work.

Those employees will be removed from the workplace and they will not be paid for the hours they are absent, which will be followed by a written notice and other steps regulated by the Labour Act, the minister said.

Aladrovic explained that employees cannot automatically be laid off, however, if they continue with the same behaviour, one of the options is for their contract to be terminated based on the regular procedure.

“That need not be some form of excessive or grave penalty but we have to separate those people who are responsible in the system from those who refuse to show even minimum responsibility towards the system,” concluded Aladrovic.

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