Recovered-Vaccinated (RV) condition for employees in State Administration Authorities at the Constitutional Court

01 October 2021

After Slovenian Government added special provisions for employees in State Administration Authorities in the Article 10.a of the Ordinance on the method of meeting the condition of morbidity, vaccination and testing to curb the spread of SARS-CoV-2 virus infections (Official Gazette of the Republic of Slovenia, No. 147/21, 149/21 and 152/21), imposing them to meet the condition of morbidity or vaccination (but not testing) from October 1, 2021, initiatives were submitted to the Constitutional Court to initiate proceedings to review constitutionality and legality of said provisions.

In its request, the Police Union of Slovenia stated, among other things, that the government is forcing employees in State Administration Authorities either to vaccinate against their will or to deliberately infect themselves, which is neither moral nor ethical, and at the same time the validity of the Ordinance as well as the period of verifying the foundations for the provisions is nowhere limited in time. They, thus, propose a temporary suspension of the implementation of the contested provisions, which should not cause irreparable consequences, as instructions and recommendations from National Institute of Public Health (NIJZ) are available to ensure safety in the workplace. The implementation of Article 10.a of the Ordinance would however, cause more serious harmful consequences.

On the other hand, the government claims that in this case the rights of workers are not endangered (Article 23.a of the Constitutional Court Act (Official Gazette of the Republic of Slovenia, No. 64/07)), and therefore contests the request for temporary suspension of the implementation of the provisions. It further explains that, due to poor epidemiological situation, measures such as vaccination are necessary and that the condition of vaccination is the only measure to ensure workers' rights to a safe and healthy working environment. Adoption of provisions in Article 10.a was added in order to ensure effective functioning of the state.

At its session on September 30, 2021, the Constitutional Court, with seven votes in favour and two against, decided that the implementation of Article 10.a of the Ordinance on the method of meeting the condition of morbidity, vaccination and testing to curb the spread of SARS-CoV-2 virus infections (Official Gazette of the Republic of Slovenia, No. 147/21, 149/21 and 152/21) is suspended until the final decision, which means that Employees in State Administration Authorities are still subject to the RVT (Recovered-Vaccinated-Tested) condition and other general measures to curb the spread of SARS-CoV-2 virus infections.

In its decision, the Court agreed with the proposer that the implementation of a possibly unconstitutional Article 10.a of the Ordinance would cause more serious harmful consequences than if a constitutionally compliant Article 10.a of the Ordinance had not been implemented until the final decision. Currently, the Constitutional Court has not yet assessed the content of the alleged unconstitutionality of the Article, which means that the RV condition may still apply in the future.

Full text (in Slovene) of the Constitutional Court Order can be found here.

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