Interview of the Emergency Headquarters and Rospotrebnadzor on mandatory vaccination of employees in the service industry

Interview of the Emergency Headquarters and Federal Service for Supervision of Consumer Rights Protection and Human Welfare (Rospotrebnadzor) on mandatory vaccination of employees in the service industry

On 24 June 2021 the interview of the Emergency Headquarters and Rospotrebnadzor specialists was published on the Internet in regard to the issue of how to interpret the Decree of the Chief Sanitary Doctor of Moscow, dated 15 June 2021 No. 1, which earlier prescribed the employers of specific industries to organise the vaccination of at least 60% of employees (see https://rg.ru/2021/06/24/reg-cfo/eksperty-otvetili-na-voprosy-rabotodatelej-o-vakcinacii-60-personala.html).

In this interview the specialists of the Emergency Headquarters and Rospotrebnadzor came to some conclusions. We would like to draw your attention to the following conclusions, which, in our opinion, are the key ones:

  • when determining the 60% of employees subject to vaccination, only the employees working in Moscow (including remote workers) are taken into account (paragraph 3 and 4);
  • the trade industry includes retail, wholesale and distance trade (paragraph 5);
  • the presence of antibodies is not a medical contraindication against vaccination (in addition, the presence of antibodies does not constitute an equivalent to vaccination) (paragraph 6 and 8);
  • in the case of a refusal from vaccination, employees shall be suspended from work, according to the opinion of representatives of the Emergency Headquarters and Rospotrebnadzor (paragraph 5);
  • employers shall achieve a result of 60% of vaccinated employees, and if this target is not achieved, this information will be transferred to the Rospotrebnadzor for the taking of administrative measures (paragraph 13).

We should note, that this interview is not an official document issued by the state body, and thus cannot be considered as binding.

Conclusions presented in the interview are the interpretation of the current legislation (Federal Law “On sanitary and epidemiological welfare of the population” dated 30.03.1999 No. 52-FZ, Decree of the Chief Sanitary Doctor of Moscow dated 15 June 2021 No. 1 etc.). However, in our opinion, in this situation, the specialists interpret certain points very broadly.

We believe that certain conclusions do not follow on directly from the legislation and the Decree of the Chief Sanitary Doctor of Moscow, issued earlier; for example, the requirement for mandatory suspension from work in the case of an employee’s refusal to be vaccinated. As we noted earlier, the Decree prescribes organising measures to vaccinate at least 60% of employees; the interpretation of the provisions of the Decree in terms of the obligation to vaccinate at least 60% of employees, in our opinion, is not entirely correct.

However, taking into account that the current epidemiological situation remains unsettled, and the Government of the Russian Federation, as well as the governments of other countries, are carrying out a rather resolute campaign in relation to vaccination, we cannot exclude the risk of negative consequences of non-compliance with these measures.

We will monitor the situation and inform you if there are any further clarifications/regulation on this matter.

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