Legal authorities are warning Jamaican employers who are considering firing workers who refuse to get vaccinated against COVID-19 that they could be in violation of the law. Attorneys have noted that under the nation’s Employment Termination and Redundancy Act, such a move could be considered “unjust termination” as the Labor Code establishes how workers can be dismissed from their jobs. The Code makes no mention of firing employees because they refuse to get vaccinated. Trade unionist Lambert Brown agreed that an initial memo issued by Caledonia Outdoor Limited, a firm based in the Corporate Area giving its workers 14 days to get the COVID-19 vaccination or submit their resignations, was in breach of Jamaica’s laws. The company has since withdrawn its memo, saying instead that workers were being “strongly encouraged” to get the shot and that no one will be asked to resign if they do not get the vaccine. Zavia Mayne, Jamaica’s state minister in the Ministry of Labor and Social Security, said there is “no legal ground” for companies to dismiss workers who refuse the COVID-19 vaccine.
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