According to a recent Hungarian government decree, companies have the opportunity to make vaccination against COVID-19 compulsory for their employees. Some domestic companies and even educational institutions have already decided to introduce the new regulation. Thus, these employers refuse to employ any worker who has not been vaccinated against the coronavirus.
Based on the government decree published on 28th October, the purpose is “to ensure that companies and enterprises, at the suggestion of employers’ organisations, have the right to require workers to be vaccinated against the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus as a condition of employment if deemed necessary for the safety of those working there”. Accordingly, the vaccination may be made into a condition of employment from 1st November, unless the worker is exempted from taking the vaccine for health reasons.
Currently, several domestic companies are still negotiating about the issue.
However, some domestic employers have already decided to make vaccination against COVID-19 compulsory for their employees.
Richter Gedeon Plc. is one of these companies. The pharmaceutical company announced the new condition at a press conference on Monday. According to the CEO, Gábor Orbán, this is a safe step in terms of the security of supply. The vaccination will be mandatory for employees because Richter Gedeon is a manufacturing company, and illnesses can jeopardise the continuity of production. Furthermore, in their case, home office is not an option. That is why the pharmaceutical company decided to make vaccination against COVID-19 compulsory for its employees, reported Portfolio.
According to an announcement published this Tuesday, employees of the University of Szeged (SZTE) must take the vaccine against the coronavirus within 45 days or prove that they have already received it. As 24.hu reports, only those who are unable to take the vaccine due to a medical condition that must be proven with a medical certificate are exempted from the vaccination obligation.
If someone does not get vaccinated, they will be sent on a one-year unpaid leave, and if they do not take the vaccine after that, their legal relationship will end.
One of the most prestigious higher education institutions in Budapest, Eötvös Loránd University, has also decided to make vaccination against the coronavirus compulsory for its employees. Exemption is granted only to those who are unable to receive it for medical reasons or who do not spend long periods of time in the institution. Based on the decision of the Epidemiological Coordinating Body of ELTE, employees must confirm receipt of the vaccine by 15 December, reported Hungarian news portal Blikk.
According to the decision of the Budapest Mayor’s Office, vaccination will be compulsory for workers in residential social institutions most at risk from the COVID epidemic. The new condition affects employees at nursing homes, homeless and temporary accommodations. Employees who do not receive a coronavirus vaccination within 45 days and cannot provide proof of medical reasons may choose between presenting their valid immunity card or taking unpaid leave. Up to now, 92.57% of the workers concerned have taken the vaccine, reported Hungarian news portal Pénzcentrum.
Vaccination against SARS-CoV-2 will be mandatory in the Hungarian Parliament as well. According to Azonnali, until 31 December, all members of parliament must be vaccinated with at least the first dose of one of the vaccines, proof of which must be provided. Only those who are unable to receive the vaccine for medical reasons will be exempted from this obligation.
Anyone who does not get vaccinated will be sent on unpaid leave from 1st January and will not be able to return to work until they have been inoculated.
Hungarian news portal Telex has been informed that only parliamentary staff is obliged to take the vaccination, as the deputies cannot be obligated to do so by the Office of the National Assembly. Deputies are not employed by the National Assembly and can only be required by law to take the vaccine.
Following the government decree that came into force on 1st November,
two Budapest municipalities announced making the coronavirus vaccine compulsory for their employees.
In the 12th district, workers are required to take the first dose until 15 December. In addition, the mayor of Budapest’s 16th district has also announced the introduction of compulsory vaccination, which must be taken by all employees of municipal institutions, as well as office, nursery, kindergarten, social or sentry workers, by 20 December.
So far, we have been informed about the Hungarian employers mentioned above that made inoculation mandatory for their employees. In the case our Dear Readers know about more, please share them with us in a comment.
Many Hungarian companies have not come to a decision yet. In their case, the final decision is expected after the necessary professional consultations and the assessment of the employees’ level of immunity. Therefore, the new vaccination regulation is still being discussed in the case of OTP, MOL, Magyar Telekom, Zwack, CIG Pannónia, and Alteo.
Some companies have already decided not to make vaccination compulsory for their employees. As Pénzcentrum reports, SPAR Hungary, which employs 14,000 people, does not make vaccination against the coronavirus compulsory but encourages each of its employees to get vaccinated if possible. The company also makes the use of masks mandatory for employees in all areas of its operation to protect customers and employees. In addition, Akko, Pensum, Masterplast, Gloster, ANY Security Printing House, Delta Technologies, and AutoWallis do not wish to make vaccination compulsory. According to their announcements, these companies are ready to react quickly in the case it is necessary. In addition, in some cases, a high proportion of employees are vaccinated.
According to the latest news reported by Telex, Audi in Győr has also come to a decision: it does not make vaccination compulsory for its nearly 13,000 employees. At the same time, “the company remains committed to protecting the health of its employees”. Therefore, the previously operating vaccination point on the factory site will be set up again where the company’s employees and family members will once again have the opportunity to take the vaccination from mid-November.
Some Hungarian companies do not even have to make a decision, as the vaccination rate among employees is 100%. Companies where every employee has already received at least 2 Covid vaccines include Nap, Nordtelekom, Cyberg and Graphisoft Park. As Portfolio reports, the latter constantly monitors the immunity level of workers through antibody testing.
The idea of compulsory vaccination divides the public across Europe.
In addition to Hungary, Italy, Greece, France, Belgium, and the UK also introduced compulsory vaccination for healthcare workers. If this is not possible for health reasons, a rapid antigen test is required at least twice a week. In Italy, the state only covers the cost of the test if someone is unable to vaccinate for health reasons. Meanwhile, Spain is considering introducing compulsory vaccination for all workers, not just healthcare workers. As Hungarian news portal Mérce reports, the proposal is supported by the local employers’ association, however, the Spanish health minister opposes the idea of compulsory vaccination.
Source: portfolio.hu; 24.hu; blikk.hu; penzcentrum.hu; telex.hu; merce.hu