Press Release
October 18, 2021

'No vaccine, no pay scheme' illegal: Drilon

Senate Minority Leader Franklin M. Drilon, former labor secretary, said that refusal to pay wages or salaries for work or service that has been rendered is illegal.

"That is illegal. If work has been rendered, it is illegal to withhold salary regardless of the vaccination status of the worker," Drilon said on Monday.

Drilon issued the statement following the statement made by the Trade Union Congress of the Philippines (TUCP) that there are companies engaging in the so-called "now vaccine, no pay" scheme.

"A vaccination card is not a daily time record that is a primary document to prove that a work has been rendered. Once a work or service is rendered, a company has an obligation under the law to pay the employee," Drilon said.

Drilon also said that a vaccine card is not a requirement for employment.

He cited that Section 12 of Republic Act 11525 or The Covid-19 Vaccination Program) clearly emphasized that "vaccine cards shall not be considered as an additional mandatory requirement for educational, employment, and other similar government transactions processes."

"If indeed there are companies that engage in the so-called 'no vaccine, no pay' scheme, the DOLE should remind them that they are violating RA 11525," Drilon said.

Drilon joined TUCP in calling on the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) to ensure that the rights of workers are not violated.

"I call on the DOLE to look into this. While we do encourage all workers to get vaccinated, we must do it in a lawful manner. To withhold the salary of unvaccinated employees is outright illegal and inhuman," the former justice secretary said.

"What the companies should do is to provide incentives and perks to those who are vaccinated to encourage others employees to line up and get inoculated. But they should never discriminate against those who are not yet vaccinated," Drilon said.

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