The Eastern European country of Armenia has become one of the very few countries to allow employers to fire workers who refuse to provide proof of their vaccination status to them. The country has one of the lowest rates of vaccinations in the European region and the government’s move is in a bid to boost the vaccination rates.
The rule was first introduced by the Armenian Ministry of Health as an order in August 2021. The order required the citizens of the country to provide their employers with proof of vaccination or undergo a PCR test every two weeks. Failure to comply with the order attracted a fine.
Deputy Minister of Labour and Social Affairs said that if an employee is unable to provide a vaccination certificate or negative COVID-19 test, then the employer will have a right to turn them away from the workforce. Employers also have the right to suspend the employee with pay, fire them or lay them off for 10 working days.
However, the country’s president, prime minister, members of parliament or the National Assembly, the ombudsman, judges of the Constitutional Court and a number of other officials, would be exempted from the new rule, as they are parliamentary deputies and are appointed in accordance with the country’s constitution.
Armenia’s vaccination campaign hasn’t been much of a success till now. The authorities planned to inoculate 7,00,000 Armenians by the end of the year. However, a little over 5 lakh people have been inoculated as of December 6.
Brazil is another country that has imposed such a rule.