The General Workers Union (GWU) has urged local authorities to provide clear guidance to employers and unions about what COVID-19 vaccination policies are acceptable at the workplace.
Employees at various companies have in recent weeks spoken out about what they claim to be discriminatory practices being implemented by employers in relation to the spread of the COVID-19 virus.
These practices have mainly included policies requiring unvaccinated staff to get tested on a weekly basis, as well as obliging staff to disclose where they have been on holiday and get tested before they can return to work, irrespective of whether or not they are vaccinated.
The GWU was responding to a request for comment by Lovin Malta after employees at Crane Currency said they were being forced to get tested after going abroad on holiday.
They argued that in addition to the policy being unfair because it obliged workers to get tested on their own time, it also placed an obligation on workers to disclose personal details, such as where they had travelled to.
They added that they had felt betrayed by the GWU because they claimed, it had not defended the workers in this instance.
In its reply to Lovin Malta, the union said it always advocated in favour of workers’ health and wellbeing and on the fact that “their conditions of employment are not to be eroded”.
“The union is not in agreement with certain procedural aspects of the measure being proposed by the employer, particularly in relation to any loss of vacation leave brought about by testing,” the union said.
“Since this is ultimately a health and safety matter, we are seeking further guidance from the competent authorities and will continue to support our members accordingly.”
Commenting on the measures, data protection commissioner Ian Deguara has said that the result of a PCR test constitutes one’s personal data and only legally entitled individuals should be able to do so.
This did not mean that companies couldn’t collect such personal data, though this needed to be done within a pre-established framework that respected privacy laws.
Have you experienced any similar problems at your workplace?