Minister of Health defends ordinance prohibiting dismissal of unvaccinated

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The Minister of Health, Marcelo Queiroga, defended the ordinance that prohibits the dismissal of employees who have not been vaccinated. He assessed that this would be a very “drastic” attitude and that the ministry is in favor of job creation.

The statement was given at the STF (Supreme Federal Court) after a meeting with the president of the Court, Luiz Fux.

On November 1, the Jair Bolsonaro government published an ordinance prohibiting the dismissal or non-hiring of employees for failure to present a vaccination certificate.

“So we think it’s very drastic if you fire people because they didn’t want to get vaccinated. As a doctor, I’ve always managed to get my patients to adhere to treatments on the basis of persuasion,” he said.

“We want to create jobs, especially formal jobs. So, this ordinance is aimed at deterring dismissals based on whether the individual is vaccinated or not. People should freely seek vaccines,” he said.

The rule, signed by Minister Onyx Lorenzoni, considers that it is discriminatory to require the employee to present proof of vaccination to maintain their relationship with the company.

The ordinance highlights that the termination of the employment relationship for this reason gives the employee the right to compensation for moral damage and the possibility of choosing between reinstatement with full compensation for the entire period of absence or receiving double the remuneration of the same period.

The ordinance caught companies and lawyers specializing in labor law by surprise, who consider that the measure violates the Constitution and is purely political. They assess that the individual’s right not to take a vaccine cannot override collective health.

In addition to this ordinance, the Minister of Health also said that he is already working on the agenda for making the use of masks more flexible. However, it did not say when it will occur.

“The Ministry of Health is working on this agenda, some states and municipalities are already doing this. It’s good, the federative entities have their autonomy and are at the forefront, they know the reality better than I sometimes who are in Brasília”, he said.

as showed the sheet, a study to make the use of masks in Brazil more flexible, which is being finalized by the Ministry of Health, should provide that the decision on the waiver of the protective accessory against Covid will be up to each municipality.

From the report, the folder will establish parameters based on rates of transmission, vaccination and demand for ICU beds (Intensive Care Unit) to recommend the removal of the mandatory use of the item.

The meeting was attended by the attorney general of the Union, Bruno Bianco, and served to discuss ongoing processes at the Supreme that have an impact on the Unified Health System.

One of them concerns an action that discusses whether the Union has a duty to provide the medicine zolgensma, considered the most expensive in the world.

In July, Fux gave a decision to oblige the federal government to make the drug available to a child with Type 2 Spinal Muscular Amyotrophy (SMA).

Queiroga also stated that the Ministry of Health will not implement a policy to seek people who have not yet taken the vaccine, but said that the ministry will carry out campaigns to encourage vaccination.

“We have to have the population as our ally through an awareness program. Taking people by force can have a reverse effect, and what we must look for is the light to move forward,” he said.

Asked whether he will convince President Jair Bolsonaro to take the vaccine, he said he is not the chief executive’s doctor.

The minister also stated that Bolsonaro was praised by world leaders during the G20 because “they know about Brazil’s vaccination campaign and they know the strength of our Unified Health System.”

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