September 1, 2021

Michalopoulou and Associates Law Firm: Vaccination and Private Sector

Mandatory vaccination and vaccination certificate according to the Greek law no. 4820/2021.

The recent national legislature by law no. 4820/2021 defined the categories of employees who are obliged to be vaccinated, while the Common Ministerial Decision no. Δ1α / Γ.Π.οικ. 50933/13/8/2021 defined the procedure and the cases in which an employee can be exempted from the obligation of vaccination, cases that are largely associated with diagnosed allergic reactions and a burdened medical history. The mandatory vaccination concerns all staff of private and public care units for the elderly and disabled, as well as those working in private, municipal, and public health facilities. It is worth mentioning that the obligation in these cases does not refer only to any medical and nursing staff but to all the employees.

Moreover, the legislator by the same law establishes the obligation of the employees who have completed the vaccination to present to their employer the relevant certificate. In addition, those who have been diagnosed with coronavirus and have not been vaccinated should have a certificate of illness. These regulations cover all categories of public or private sector workers and not just those who are obliged to be vaccinated.

Even though, as mentioned above, the law no. 4820/2021 establishes for employees an obligation to present the relevant vaccination or disease certificate, the employer cannot keep a record, as otherwise it would conflict with the provisions related to the protection of personal data. In other words, what is allowed is only the demonstration and verification of the certificate through the special electronic application for mobile devices. The Personal Data Protection Authority argues that the use of the application should be limited only during the period when the relevant ministerial decision is in force and the purpose for which personal data is used should be more adequate.

In case of non-fulfillment of the ex lege obligation mentioned, the law does not provide a system of possible sanctions. The employers can only change the duties of the employees who do not observe the obligation if this is possible. The dismissal of employees does not occur legally.

Finally, it is worth mentioning that companies which have fully vaccinated staff can supply the relevant mark by the competent service of the Ministry of Development and put it in a prominent place of their business.