Global Guide on Employment Implications of the COVID-19 Vaccination

The news that a number of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) vaccines are in the final stages of development/approval has been welcomed by employers and employees around the globe. At last, there may be light at the end of the tunnel! It has also inevitably prompted a number of questions, such as whether employers can require their staff to have the vaccine as part of their making the workplace as safe as practicable, and what their options are if an employee refuses to have it.

In this guide, we set out the key questions that employers are likely to have about the vaccine and the implications for the workplace. Lawyers from our Labour & Employment team have then provided outline answers to these questions for their particular jurisdiction. As will be seen from the responses,
approaches differ from country to country – whilst most countries will not make the vaccine mandatory, in some jurisdictions a refusal to have it may mean that an employer has grounds to dismiss in light of the unique threat posed by COVID-19. The other key common theme from the answers is there are still lots of “maybes”. This is uncharted territory for governments, businesses and individuals alike. In most countries, the position is still developing and we are still waiting for guidance from the government and relevant health/discrimination/data protection bodies there on how employers should approach this issue. Businesses should therefore ensure they keep abreast of developments in the different countries that may affect them – a one-size-fits-all approach across your international network is definitely not recommended.

Please note that this guide is intended as a highlevel overview only and should not be regarded as a substitute for legal advice. It sets out the position as at 4 December 2020. We recommend that you always check the latest position with your local labour & employment lawyer. Where “P/O Maybe” responses are given, they may be dependent on the facts and specific advice should always be taken.

The complete document is available here: Global Snapshot Vaccination

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