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Companies consider weekly swab tests for unvaccinated workers

 - Business - Jul 20
Companies consider weekly swab tests for unvaccinated workers

Dozens of Maltese companies are considering the option of requiring unvaccinated employees to undergo weekly COVID-19 tests. According to the Malta Employer’s Association (MEA), employers have been contacting the association for guidance on how to operate the weekly tests and thus encourage the workers to get the jab. This follows APS Bank’s controversial decision to require employees to get vaccinated or undergo weekly PCR tests every Friday or Saturday. Any office hours used would be deducted from a staff member’s vacation leave. 

Joseph Farrugia stated that APS was not alone in considering this, confirming the ability of companies to implement such rules. He described the weekly tests as not punishments on individual employees but risk minimisation. ‘The employer and employees all have the right to know the health risks to which they are exposed.’ Since vaccination is a personal choice, employers are within their rights to ask employees to use vacation leave if test appointment fell within work hours, stated Farrugia. 

Times of Malta was informed by an employment specialist that requiring staff to be fully vaccinated would be legal if a needs assessment finds public health is seriously a threat. In the case of APS however, they doubted the legality of asking employees to cut into their vacation leave if the test fell within office hours. 

APS Bank CEO Marcel Cassar stated that the bank had the duty to continue protecting the health of its workforce of around 550 employees. He stated that the particular situation calls for maturity and responsibility on the part of everyone. 

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Photo Source: EndocrineWeb

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