Michele Massa

Work and Vaccination Against Covid-19. Constitutional Notes on a Labour Law Debate

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The essay clarifies some of the constitutional law premises of a question which is being debated in labour law: which kinds of measures can be adopted against workers who are offered a Covid-19 vaccine and refuse it? Four arguments are proposed: 1) under article 32, para. II, of the Italian Constitution, only an explicit and specific legal provision may impose a mandatory health treatment; 2) currently, no such provision exists in Italian law (including the Civil code, workplace security law, and Covid-19 emergency law); 3) therefore, refusing the vaccination is the exercise of a legal, and constitutionally guaranteed, liberty of the individual; 4) nonetheless, the ensuing lack of immunization is an objective circumstance, which may become relevant for risk management and work organization, and also impact employment relationships. The essay considers the pertinent constitutional case-law and, in its conclusions, hypothesizes a legal framing for point 4), while also highlighting that the best course of action would be for the Parliament to tackle the issue directly.


  • Covid-19
  • Vaccination
  • Right to work
  • Right to health
  • Workplace safety
  • Risk management
  • Mandatory health treatments
  • Balancing rights


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