January 23, 2022

Covid-19 and companies – “Whoever does not get vaccinated must bear the consequences”


Employers and state funds should not support the loss of earnings of employees sick with Covid if they are themselves responsible, according to the boss of Bucher.

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The statement by Philip Mosimann, boss of the industrial company Bucher, which manufactures agricultural machinery and sweepers, may trigger some reactions. Interviewed by the “NZZ am Sonntag” of the day, he believes that if employees who did not wish to be vaccinated contract Covid-19 and find themselves unable to work, it is up to them to assume the financial consequences. They “could take vacation or leave without pay if they don’t want to protect themselves.”

According to the industrialist – among others a former member of Economiesuisse and president of the Friends of the PLR ​​- “staying at home with a full salary would be unfair and disproportionate compared to all the other employees”. Likewise, state aid, financed by taxes paid by employees, should not compensate for the loss of wages of these unvaccinated employees, according to him.

For 2G, against compulsory vaccination

Philip Mosimann also approves the introduction of the measurement of 2G (vaccinated or cured) in the industry, if the epidemiological situation made it necessary “to protect employees”. But, in this case, companies imposing this 2G should not have to pay for employees who do not wish to be vaccinated either: “If a company imposes 2G, it is a working condition like any other. . Those who do not respect it cannot work and even violate their employment contract. Why, then, should the company continue to pay the salary? “

However, the manufacturer recognizes that the legal situation in terms of 2G is not yet clear (see box below). And he believes that it will undoubtedly take years before final judicial decisions are rendered in the matter.

Compulsory general vaccination does not exist in Switzerland. Vaccinated and unvaccinated employees must therefore be treated equally legally. But with the introduction of the so-called 2G protection measure (vaccinated or cured), a question remains to be clarified: should companies continue to pay unvaccinated people prevented from going to their workplace by the application of this 2G regulation?

“No court has yet had to judge such a concrete case, there is currently a legal vacuum in the matter”, said, in response to the “NZZ am Sonntag”, Ingrid Ryser, Chief Information Officer at the Office federal justice. If such a case were to be tried, the court will have to answer the question of “whether it is a faulty absence or not of the employee”, she explains.

At the moment, only a few large companies exclude unvaccinated people, and are thus stricter than required by the measures of the Confederation, according to the “NZZ am Sonntag”. The insurers Swiss Re and Zurich have introduced 2G and Swiss the obligation of vaccination against Covid-19 for its staff.