Many countries have started to roll out vaccines against COVID-19. While a vaccination program is viewed by many as the long-awaited route out of the pandemic, this presents challenges for employers—including whether they can require employees to be vaccinated. In this publication, we provide at-a-glance guidance to the key issues for employers to consider in Brazil, France, Germany, Hong Kong, the UK and the United States, followed by more detailed Q&As for each of these jurisdictions.
A virtual discussion on the regulatory aspects of the EO, its potential policy outcomes, and practical impacts on affected businesses. On July 9, 2021, President Joe Biden issued a far-reaching executive order (EO) on Promoting Competition in the American Economy that establishes a “whole-of-government effort” aimed at reducing corporate consolidation. The EO calls for federal agencies to undertake 72 separate initiatives across a range of industry sectors, including financial services, technology, transportation and communication services.
The Hong Kong Government has recently announced a “new direction” in relation to managing the COVID pandemic. The heart of such new direction will involve “vaccine bubbles”, which will allow a relaxation of current social gathering restrictions in circumstances where all participants have received at least the first dose of a COVID vaccine.
It is an implied term in every employment contract that an employee is obliged to comply with a lawful and reasonable order from their employer. A failure by an employee to comply with a lawful and reasonable order which is within the scope of the employee’s employment will be a serious breach of contract.
So, is a direction by a Hong Kong employer that all employees must be vaccinated against COVID-19 a “lawful and reasonable direction”?
Companies face a new set of challenges as countries implement their COVID-19 vaccination plans. Covering several major jurisdictions, this Legal Update summarizes key vaccine information for employers, such as the availability of vaccines, the rights of employers to require vaccination or proof thereof and measures that could be taken against employees refusing to be vaccinated.
The Hong Kong government announced on 1 February 2021 that it will lower the threshold for compulsory COVID-19 testing. A sudden directive for compulsory testing and suspension of operation of a workplace will be disruptive. What should employers do to prepare for the (unfortunate) situation where it occurs?