Neil McDonnell of ISME
The Irish Small and Medium Enterprises Association (ISME) has joined calls for employers to be allowed ask if their employees are vaccinated.
On RTÉ’s Morning Ireland, ISME’s chief executive Neil McDonnell said:
“It is very hard to see how employers cannot ask a vaccination status either where it is not possible to maintain social distancing between employees or between workplace colleagues and the customer.
“It’s very difficult to conclude how the employer would be doing anything other than acting irresponsibly if they did not know the vaccination status of the employee.
“We would be very disappointed if people were to use the word discrimination. It’s now incumbent on the Department of Enterprise to specify work where an employer should know the vaccination status of employees
However, The Data Protection Officer said this was…
“… likely to represent unnecessary and excessive data collection for which no clear legal basis exists”.
Doireann Ansbro, of the Irish Council for Civil Liberties, (ICCL), said:
“In this country we have very strong rights, and people still have the right to make their own decision.
“And if all employers are allowed to ask for a vaccination status and make decisions based on that status including potentially not allowing people to come back to work or potentially firing people, you’re potentially talking about introducing a mandatory vaccination programme by the back door.
“That potentially impacts the right to bodily integrity, the right not to be discriminated against, and of course the right to privacy.
“If you have employers making decisions on the basis of vaccination status, you are potentially talking about discrimination or segregation in workplaces.”