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Can I force my staff to be vaccinated?

Vaccinations in Belgium are coming to an end, yet there are still many unanswered questions for employers. Can and may you oblige your staff to be vaccinated? Can you ask your employees anything in connection with their vaccination? These questions are impossible to get out of the news these days, just think of the possible vaccination requirement for those working in the healthcare sector. What can and should you really do as an employer from a legal standpoint? We briefly list everything for you.

Legally mandatory?
Today, vaccination against COVID-19 is not a legal requirement. As a result, as an employer, you cannot require your employees to be vaccinated. Such an obligation would also violate the right to private life and the right to physical integrity as described in the European Convention on Human Rights and the Belgian Constitution.

Asking for a vaccination certificate is also considered an invasion of privacy. However, you can, as an employer, impose safety and prevention measures on your employees. Consider wearing mouth masks in the workplace. You may do this because, as an employer, you have a duty to look after the welfare of your staff.

Distinction between employees
Suppose your employees do share information related to their vaccination, because they get vaccinated during working hours, for example, you are not allowed to do anything with this information. You may not start discriminating between vaccinated and non-vaccinated staff. That would be seen as discrimination.