Planet Labor becomes mind RH

Brazil: order bans dismissal of workers for lack of Covid vaccine

Through . Published on 08 November 2021 à 14h07 - Update on 08 November 2021 à 14h07

An order signed by the Brazilian labour and social security minister Onyx Lorenzoni – published in the country’s official gazette on 1 November 2021 – prohibits the dismissal of workers because they are not vaccinated against Covid-19. The text, which makes reference to Brazil’s federal constitution, highlights that companies cannot require proof of vaccination when hiring new employees, nor can they dismiss staff members for failing to provide proof of vaccination. It describes such a requirement as “discriminatory” and provides for sanctions ranging from the reinstatement of the dismissed worker with full pay to the individual concerned potentially claiming additional compensation for moral prejudice. The resolution signed by the labour minister contradicts decisions taken by Brazil’s labour courts. In February, the Public Prosecutor’s Office stated that workers who refuse to be vaccinated against Covid-19, without medical justification, can be rightfully dismissed. Meanwhile in July the regional labour court of São Paulo upheld the dismissal for just cause of a housekeeper who refused the first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine. However, while employers do not have the right to demand proof of vaccination, they can “offer their workers periodic tests to prove that they are not infected with Covid-19”, the resolution states. In this case, workers cannot refuse to undergo tests. Only those with proof of their vaccination status are exempted.

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