UPDATED: Can you be fired in Switzerland if you refuse the Covid-19 vaccine?
There has been a lot of talk lately about privileges that Swiss authorities could grant to those who have had their coronavirus shots. But what if you choose not to be vaccinated?
Central to the return of some degree of normality in Switzerland is the introduction of a Covid-19 certificate, which provides certain privileges for vaccinated people, along with those who have recovered from the virus.
While the government has frequently reiterated that the vaccine is and will remain voluntary, the introduction of the Covid certificate has meant that certain industries will require their customers and clients to show a valid certificate - which of course means that staff will also need to possess the certificate.
For instance, nightclubs will be allowed to reopen but will require a Covid certificate from June 26th - meaning of course that staff will also need said certificate, to ensure everyone is immune to the virus.
But what could happen if you don’t want to get the shot — can your employer fire you?
If you work for a private company, employers “can make a distinction between vaccinated and non-vaccinated employees, especially for those who pose a security risk through frequent contact with other people”, Daniella Lützelschwab, a representative of an employers' association, said to Swiss tabloid Blick.
Lützelschwab added that a company could decide to transfer unvaccinated employees to another location, where they are not in contact with other workers.
However, if relocation is not possible, the employer “must give an employee a deadline within which they should get vaccinated”.
If he or she still refuses, the company can dismiss them, on the grounds that they don’t support the employer in implementing health protection measures in the workplace.
“That is why I consider advantages for people who have been vaccinated to be permissible”, ”said Nicole Vögeli Galli, lecturer at the Zurich University of Applied Sciences.
This also applies to people who have been working from home but will soon return to the workplace, as the Federal Council has dropped the requirement to work from home from June 26th.
Whether or not you will be able to go back to your office also depends on your vaccination status.
"If the vaccination is necessary in the context of health protection, non-vaccinated people are not allowed to return," Vögeli Galli said.