Court extends unvaccinated PPA staff legal protection into new year

PPA building on Pärnu mnt in Tallinn.
PPA building on Pärnu mnt in Tallinn. Source: Siim Lõvi /ERR

A court has extended legal protection to close to unvaccinated 30 Police and Border Guard Board (PPA) employees.

The legal protection, granted by the second-tier circuit court in respect of coronavirus vaccinations, will run until January 7. Unvaccinated PPA staff otherwise would have faced dismissal on the last day of this year.

Vaccinations were made mandatory for PPA staff on November 3 this year, and were required to submit proof of immunization of of recovery from the virus by November 12, while a dismissal order was to be prepared by December 31 in respect of those who did not provide such proof.

Lawyer Jaanika Reilik-Bakhoff had filed four class-action lawsuits on behalf of around 60 PPA officers.

As of November 12, around 4,400 PPA staff had been vaccinated, while another 250 were unvaccinated, ERR reports. Of the unvaccinated, 150 indicated at the time that they required more information and time before making a decision on how to proceed.

Less than a month earlier, on October 20, a PPA risk assessment found that a high risk of Covid infection related to working with the authority, meaning vaccination was mandatory.

Close to 40 PPA officials filed an appeal with the circuit court and for preliminary legal protection, including women who were expecting a baby. In the latter case, legal protection applies through to the end of court proceedings, and the PPA may not appeal that protection at any time before that, ERR reports.

The circuit court also found that legal protection for PPA staff who were in any case facing redundancy was also justifiable.

The remainder are the 30 employees whose legal protection at present extends to January 7.

PPA staff who had not provided proof of vaccination were issued a written notice stating they had until December 20 to comply with the order.

Exemptions from the order to get vaccinated will be assessed on a case-by-case basis and require medical certification to that effect, ERR reports.


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Editor: Andrew Whyte

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