Suspended MP and compulsory vaccination for some categories of employees

10 November 2021
Suspended MP and compulsory vaccination for some categories of employees
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Instead of addressing important issues, MPs focused on decisions that produce spin in the media but have no effect on society.

Meanwhile, executive bodies continue to restrict the constitutional rights of Ukrainian citizens. This time it is not the Cabinet but the Ministry of Healthcare.

MPs suspended Halyna Tretiakova from attending plenary meetings

Parliamentary decision of November 5, 2021

Decision-maker: the Verkhovna Rada.

Who is affected: MPs, Halyna Tretiakova.

Summary of the decision: Halyna Tretiakova will be suspended from participating in the next five plenary meetings of the Verkhovna Rada. She is an MP from Servant of the People faction and the Head of the Committee on Social Policy and Veterans’ Rights Protection.

Background: Halyna Tretiakova’s message “minus one enemy” — her comment on the death of her fellow MP Anton Poliakov — was forwarded to other MPs and published in media. Representatives of all factions appealed to the Committee on Rules of Procedure to suspend Halyna Tretiakova from attending parliamentary meetings.

What is wrong:

  • there are no legal grounds to punish Tretiakova. According to the Rules of Procedure, an offended MP or faction can appeal to the Committee on Rules of Procedure asking to suspend the offender if the offending words were said during his or her speech from the parliamentary tribune. Since Tretiakova has not offended MPs or factions in her speech, the Committee should not have suspended her
  • MPs have created a dangerous precedent. Any criticism, quarrel, or debate can lead to suspension if the majority wants it. MPs have already tried to punish Iryna Herashchenko for her words said two years ago and Iryna Herashchenko herself now wants to suspend Davyd Arakhamia
  • the Committee on Rules of Procedure fails to perform its duty. Before the opposition had the majority in the Committee, now, though, Servant of the People has the “monomajority”. As a result, the opposition cannot oversee the work of the Parliament and effectively react to MPs’ unethical behavior.

Ordinance on compulsory vaccination for some categories of employees came into force

Ordinance of the Ministry of Healthcare №2153 of October 4, 2021

Decision-maker: the Ministry of Healthcare.

Who is affected: Ukrainian citizens, educators, pupils, students, government bodies, and local governments.

Summary of the ordinance: the Ministry approved and issued the list of professions, industries, and organizations where all employees have to be vaccinated. In particular:

  • central executive bodies and their regional offices
  • local state administrations and their units
  • educational establishments regardless of their types, levels, or form of ownership.

Employees of these establishments will be suspended without pay if they are not vaccinated with at least one dose by November 8. The suspension is lifted only after the employee is vaccinated.

What is wrong:

  • the restrictions should have been introduced by a draft bill, not an ordinance. According to the Constitution, the issues concerning human rights and freedoms, the guarantees of these rights and freedoms, and the main duties of citizens are determined exclusively by the laws. The Ministry had no authority to introduce compulsory vaccination since such an act restricts the right to labor and remuneration. Some citizens will even be deprived of means of sustenance
  • the ordinance violates the legal security principle: the Ministry of Healthcare can amend its ordinance anytime and mandate vaccination for more categories of employees
  • unvaccinated employees can challenge both the ordinance and their suspensions in court. There is a high chance that courts’ decisions will be in favor of unvaccinated citizens.

Why this is important: educators, students, and pupils suffer from this decision and half-baked lockdown restrictions imposed by the Cabinet. For example, Kyiv-Mohyla Academy suspended unvaccinated professors even though they were working remotely and had no contact with students.

Alternative solution: to introduce compulsory vaccination by adopting a law in accordance with the Rules of Procedure. Since the issue concerns human rights and freedoms, a draft bill has to be diligently checked for compliance with the Constitution and communicated to people in advance.