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Austria to cut unemployment pay to those who refuse Covid-19 vaccine

VIENNA (Sept 17): Job seekers in Austria will risk losing some of their unemployment benefits if they turn down a job offer because it requires getting vaccinated against COVID-19, Anadolu Agency (AA) quoted local media reports on Thursday.

Austria’s Der Standard newspaper shared a letter sent on Aug 25 by the Austrian Labour Ministry to the Austrian Public Employment Service (AMS).

It said that in the event that job hunters refuse any employment offer due to a requirement to get vaccinated, the AMS will have the right to cut their unemployment benefits.

In this case, the unemployment benefits of job seekers who do not have a medical excuse for not getting vaccinated can be blocked for up to six weeks.

Due to an increase in the number of daily cases in the country, the gradual enactment of some COVID-19 measures, especially for people who have not been vaccinated, brought the necessity of vaccination to the agenda at many workplaces.

While in Lower Austria, Vienna and Styria, a vaccination requirement for those who will be employed in some fields was introduced, many workplaces in the private sector have made vaccination compulsory for new recruitments.

Although 70 per cent of the population that is required to be vaccinated in the country is vaccinated, arguments continue on the issue that vaccination is a personal choice and should not be made compulsory directly or indirectly.

The country registered 2,198 new COVID-19 cases, pushing the total to over 718,000, and 14 people lost their fight against the disease in the last 24 hours, bringing the death toll to 10,870.

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