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Regarding the new explanations of Russian Ministry of Labor regarding the vaccination of employees

27.08.2021

The Ministry of Labor of the Russian Federation and Rospotrebnadzor have issued new explanations on the organization of vaccination in organized work collectives and the procedure for accounting for the percentage of vaccinated people.

Earlier, the Ministry of Labor of the Russian Federation and Rospotrebnadzor, following a meeting of the Coordinating Council under the Government of the Russian Federation to combat the spread of a new coronavirus infection in the territory of the Russian Federation, provided explanations on the organization of vaccination in organized work collectives (labor collectives) and the procedure for accounting for the percentage of vaccinated.

In these explanations, it was reported that groups of citizens who are defined in the resolutions of the main state public health doctors of the subjects of the Russian Federation must be vaccinated. Citizens who refused vaccination should be suspended from work, since employers need to ensure the level of collective immunity of at least 80% of the list of the collective.

In connection with these requirements, many employers have questions about the order of their compliance.

In order to clarify the issues that have arisen, the Ministry of Labor of the Russian Federation, in its letter dated August 10, 2021, informs that the previously issued clarifications are of a recommendatory nature, and also are not a regulatory legal act and do not form new obligations for the employer and employee.

For this period of time, vaccination against coronavirus infection is included in the Calendar of preventive vaccinations according to epidemiological indications. At the same time, the need for vaccination against COVID-19 is determined by the public health doctor of the region. Refusal of vaccination, if the public health  doctor decides to carry it out, is fraught with suspension from work only those workers whose work is associated with a high risk of infectious diseases and is named in this capacity in the List approved by the decree of the Government of the Russian Federation No. 825, dated  July 15, 1999.

The Ministry of Labor also informs in its letter that issues related to vaccination against COVID 19 are regulated not by labor legislation, but by legislation  ensuring public health  and the epidemiological well-being of the population.

In this regard, the federal executive authority that performs the functions of developing and implementing state policy and regulatory regulation in this area is Rospotrebnadzor, where an appropriate appeal should be sent on all questions about vaccinations against coronavirus infection.

In addition, we inform you that the Labor Code of the Russian Federation does not contain such a reason for suspension from work as the absence of preventive vaccinations. Paragraph 8 of Part 1 of Article 76 of the Labor Code of the Russian Federation, which was referred to by state agencies as the basis for suspending unvaccinated employees, allows them to be suspended from work in cases provided for by federal laws and other regulatory legal acts of the Russian Federation (that is, acts of the federal level). The Labor Code of the Russian Federation does not provide for the possibility to establish cases of suspension from work on the basis of resolutions of public health doctors  of the subjects of the Russian Federation.

An additional reason for the suspension from work of persons who are carriers of infectious diseases is provided for in paragraph 2 of Article 33, sub-paragraph 6 of paragraph 1 of Article 51 of Federal Law No. 52-FZ, dated  March 30, 1999. However, this law does not contain any grounds for suspending employees who refuse vaccination.

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