News – 19.02.2021

‘No jab, no job’ – Employer’s right to implement forced vaccination of staff

Main contact

Tomi Haapman

Counsel, Attorney at Law, CIPP/E

+358 40 0494 495

Some businesses worldwide are seeking so-called ‘no jab, no job’ contracts where an employer would be entitled to draw up contracts requiring staff members to have coronavirus vaccines.

In Finland, taking the coronavirus vaccine is not mandatory and a requirement to take the vaccine does not fall within the scope of an employer’s right to direct and supervise work. Furthermore, an employer has no law-based means to find out which of the employees have been vaccinated.

The current legislation regarding workplace safety and equality prohibit a clause in an employment contract that obliges an employee to take or to have taken the COVID-19 vaccine. Thus, such explicit contract term or implicit prior consent is against the law and as such, null and void. Even with frontline employees, particularly with health care workers, an employer does not have the right to implement forced vaccination of its staff. Instead, the employer is obliged to protect its patients and clients so that they are mainly treated and served by employees with adequate vaccination protection.

However, an employer may require vaccine protection in a job advert if the tasks fall under the scope of the Finnish Communicable Diseases Act. Subsequently, such job advert may apply only for persons who are willing to take on the required vaccines for the job, provided there is a legitime ground for such requirement and the requirement is applied in a non-discriminatory way. In this case, the employer may choose not to select a job seeker who says in an interview that th