Italian court upholds rule suspending unvaccinated workers without pay

The Local Italy
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Italian court upholds rule suspending unvaccinated workers without pay
Anti-vaccine protestors in Rome hold a banner reading ‘my body, my choice’. Italy has mandated vaccination against Covid-19 for many public sector workers since December. Photo by Filippo MONTEFORTE / AFP

An Italian court on Friday rejected an appeal by 127 public sector workers against rules meaning those who refuse a Covid vaccine are suspended from work without pay.


The Lazio regional administrative court (TAR) ruled that the Italian government was within its rights to suspend civil servants without pay if they failed to comply with the requirement to be vaccinated against Covid-19.

The court dismissed an appeal brought by 127 public sector workers including police, healthcare staff and teachers who had been suspended from work without pay after refusing vaccination, newspaper La Stampa reported.

Their appeal centred on the question of whether the vaccine requirement was justified in order to protect the 'right to health' as enshrined in the Italian Constitution.

The court rejected the appeal by stating that the question of constitutional compatibility was "manifestly unfounded". 

In December 2021, Italy expanded the number of categories of workers subject to its vaccine mandate to include all workers in Italy’s defence, security, emergency rescue, and juvenile and community justice sectors, as well as police, intelligence officers and prison guards.


The requirement was also extended to administrative staff in healthcare and teaching. Workers in public-facing roles in these sectors had already been subject to a vaccination requirement.

Those who refuse to get vaccinated can be fined and will ultimately face indefinite suspension from work without pay.

In addition, Italy requires all over-50s to be vaccinated, and to show proof of vaccination to enter their workplace in any sector.

The law states that exemptions can only be granted if an employee obtains medical certification stating that taking a Covid vaccine would pose an “established danger to health, in relation to specific documented clinical conditions”.

Find more information about Italy’s Covid-19 vaccination campaign on the Italian health ministry’s website (available in English).


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