15. September 2021

SARS-CoV-2 Occupational Health and Safety Ordinance amended


On September 1, 2021, the Federal Cabinet decided to extend the SARS-CoV-2 Occupational Health and Safety Ordinance until November 24th, 2021. The Amendment Ordinance will come into force by September 10, 2021. Here you will find an overview of the SARS-CoV-2 Occupational Health and Safety Ordinance.

SARS-CoV-2 Occupational Health and Safety Ordinance: Extension of validity

The validity of the previous ordinance, whose provisions continue to apply unchanged, has been extended until November 24th, 2021.

Knowledge of COVID19-vaccination status by the employer

The Ordinance now regulates that employers may use the information about who among the employees has been vaccinated when implementing protective measures. If this knowledge is available, it can be used. However, this does not include authorising the employer to inquire about the vaccination or convalescent status of employees.

Exemption for vaccination, information on vaccination and vaccination in the workplace

The explanatory memorandum to the draft extension regulation states that 30% of those who are basically willing to be vaccinated base their previous non-vaccination on the fact that they are not sufficiently informed or do not have the time to get the shot. Employers are now supposed to take action here by making it possible for them to take time off for the vaccination. The regulation therefore states: “The employer must enable employees to be vaccinated against the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus during working hours”.

It is not clear from this and also not from the explanatory memorandum whether this is a paid or unpaid leave of absence. What we know for now is that an Employer had to allow the Employee to leave work for getting vaccinated during working hours.

It is further stipulated that “the employer shall provide organisational and staffing support to the company doctors and the inter-company services of company doctors who carry out protective vaccinations… in the company”.

In addition, “employees are to be informed about the health risks of contracting coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) as part of the instruction and informed about the possibility of protective vaccination”.

Employers are thus obliged to actively inform about the virus and vaccination, so that responsibilities that should actually lie with medical professionals are now with employers.

If you have any questions, feel free to contact us!


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