Judiciary on public service quasi-safe zones: We await definitive legal position on vaccinations

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

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The Judiciary says it awaits any definitive legal position on covid19 vaccination.

It gave its position in a release on Wednesday, in response to a newspaper article on the issue of vaccination of public servants, particularly Judiciary staff.

The release said the notice sent to staff of the criminal division by the Criminal Division management team was not authorised by the Judiciary.

It said since August 2021, the Judiciary has been seeking and continues to seek information on the vaccination status of staff.

“This has been and will continue to be done in order to plan for and order its operations to ensure the safety of its staff, suppliers, and the public.”

In the memo to staff of the criminal division, purportedly signed by the court manager at the Hall of Justice, staff were provided with the Government’s policy for the public service to operate as a quasi-safe zone.

Staff were purportedly also told they were required to provide documentation of their vaccination status by Thursday.

They were also purportedly warned submission of fraudulent documents might constitute grounds for dismissal and a criminal offence.

The Government’s quasi safe-zone policy for the public service is that those who are unvaccinated or who have not at least taken the first dose of a covid19 vaccine will not be allowed to return to work or be paid from January 17.

There has been pushback from trade unions to the policy.