11 March 2022 - In view of the conduct of “Bayanihan, Bakunahan National COVID-19 Vaccination Days, Part IV” on 10 to 12 March 2022, the Civil Service Commission (CSC) reminds government employees that absences incurred on the day of an employee’s COVID-19 vaccination may be considered as an excused absence.

An advisory signed by Chairperson Karlo Nograles referred to CSC Memorandum Circular No. 16, s. 2021, which states, “Absence from work during the day of inoculation of the first and second dose of COVID-19 vaccine, including future booster shots, whenever applicable, shall be considered as an excused absence.”

The memo circular also allows the filing of excused absence if the absence is due to the required treatment or for a recuperation period from adverse events following immunization (AEFI) of the first or second dose of COVID-19 vaccine or booster shot.

A maximum of 15 calendar days may be allowed for cases of serious AEFIs which may include hospitalization, persistent or significant disability or incapacity, and life threatening or medically important event or reaction. In addition to the application of leave of absence and copy of vaccination card, the employee must also submit a medical certificate and/or clinical abstract indicating the diagnosis, the management done, and number of days of recuperation needed, signed by the attending physician.

On the other hand, a maximum of three (3) calendar days may be allowed for non-serious or minor AEFIs which may include tenderness, pain, warmth, redness, itching or swelling on the injection; generally feeling unwell; feeling tired (fatigue); chills or feeling feverish; headache; and joint pain or muscle ache. The employee must submit a medical certificate signed by an attending physician at the vaccination center or medical facility where s/he underwent observation due to AEFI.

The CSC said that government employees must comply with the requirements or documents that need to be presented upon return to work.

Special leave

The CSC also said that government employees accompanying their children for vaccination may file for a special leave privilege pursuant to Section 21, Rule XVI of the Omnibus Rules on Leave, as amended.

The said provision states, “In addition to the vacation, sick, maternity and paternity leave, officials and employees with or without existing Collective Negotiation Agreement (CNA), except teachers and those covered by special leave laws, are granted the following special leave privileges subject to the conditions hereunder stated:

x x x

b) Parental obligations such as attendance in school programs, PTA meetings, graduations, first communion; medical needs, among others, where a child of the government employee is involved.”

Government employees may avail of the special leave privilege for a maximum of three (3) days in a year, which is non-cumulative and non-convertible to cash. Apart from parental obligations, also covered by the provision on special leave privilege are personal milestones, filial obligations, domestic emergencies, personal transactions with government and private offices, and calamity or accident hospitalization.

Teachers and other government officials and employees covered by special laws may apply for the pertinent benefit due them as provided for by their respective implementing rules.