The court ruling in Curaçao on firing a staff member because she would not get vaccinated against COVID-19 (see related story) is interesting. The judge did not agree with that as grounds for immediate dismissal per April 7 – certainly without consultation on alternatives – but terminating a labour contract due to changed working conditions resulting from the pandemic is permissible, considering the employer’s responsibility to protect colleagues and visitors.
A local attorney commented that employment law cases stand on their own with specific circumstances, so a precedent has not necessarily been set. It does indicate that businesses can be successful in laying off personnel for this reason, although the company had to pay her salary until legally terminated and US $7,500 in compensation.
The issue in general remains a difficult one, where individual rights may conflict with collective interests. As example, easing travel restrictions and eliminating redundant testing for the fully vaccinated also to boost the local tourism economy is not yet possible, mainly because some persons refuse to roll up their sleeves.
COVID-19 infections especially with the Delta variant have again been rising in much of the world and data suggest unvaccinated people are directly to blame. It remains critical that they take responsibility not only for their own health and wellbeing but also for those around them by vaccinating.
Those opting out of getting injected must be made aware that doing so still puts others at risk while prolonging social restrictions and problems. It’s tragic too, that valuable supplies of the vaccine are being wasted by some who simply don’t want to help end the pandemic and related crisis.
Everyone should be strongly encouraged to do their part.