New Ways of Working

Explore and keep track of key legal and compliance considerations for multinational employers as new ways of working become increasingly embedded as the pandemic begins to recede. Learn more about the response taken in specific countries or build your own report to compare approaches taken around the world.

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10. Are there some workplaces or specific industries or sectors in which the government has required that employers make access to the workplace conditional on individuals having received a Covid-19 vaccination?

10. Are there some workplaces or specific industries or sectors in which the government has required that employers make access to the workplace conditional on individuals having received a Covid-19 vaccination?

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Argentina

  • at MBB Balado Bevilacqua
  • at MBB Balado Bevilacqua
  • at MBB Balado Bevilacqua

The government has implemented the “Health Pass” at a national level, as of 1 January 2022 (through Administrative Decision No. 1198/2021). The Health Pass will be required for individuals aged 13+  attending places where the following activities are held: (i) group travel (graduates, students, retirees); (ii) indoor discos or dance clubs; (iii) indoor social event places; and (iv) events with an attendance of more than 1,000 people (indoor or outdoor). The Health Pass must be evidenced with the mobile application “Cuidar” or with a vaccination certificate in a paper or digital format issued by the Health Authority.

The vaccination schedule must be completed at least 14 days before attending the activity or event.

In addition, each jurisdiction will also be allowed to require a vaccination card for other activities, depending on the epidemiological situation, the local vaccination plan and the progress in vaccination coverage.

Last updated on 24/02/2022

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Australia

  • at People + Culture Strategies

Yes, operators of health, aged and disability care facilities are subject to public health orders which make vaccination against covid-19 a requirement of entry.

Whether an employer would be justified in terminating employment based on an employee’s refusal to be vaccinated will depend on the particular circumstances, and an employer would be required to follow a proper process before making any such decision (including allowing the employee the opportunity to be heard before a decision is made that might affect their employment.

We note the Fair Work Commission, Australia’s employment relations tribunal, has upheld the termination of an aged-care receptionist who refused an influenza vaccination. The decision to terminate the employment was made in the context of a public health order that no one was allowed to enter the facility operated by the employer without an up-to-date influenza vaccination to ensure the safety of its clients. We consider this decision serves as a precedent for those employers who are subject to public health orders concerning covid-19 and faced with employees refusing to receive the covid-19 vaccination.

Last updated on 21/09/2021

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Austria

  • at Littler
  • at Littler
  • at Littler

In principle, there is already the legal possibility to impose vaccinations for certain professions in the health sector. However, this option has not been exercised yet. There is no legal basis for compulsory vaccination in most sectors.

Workers may choose from three options (3-G rule) when they want to enter their employer’s premises. As of now, there is no regulation stipulating an entry requirement to the workplace for vaccinated workers. However, employers may only tighten access restrictions in substantiated cases. Individuals who are not employees may be subject to stricter conditions (proof of vaccination) as a result of the employer’s right of domicile.

Last updated on 31/01/2022

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Belgium

  • at Van Olmen & Wynant

Until now, there have been no such requirements. But as stated above, this will be the case in the healthcare sector, starting from 1 April 2022.

Last updated on 01/12/2021

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Brazil

  • at Pinheiro Neto
  • at Pinheiro Neto Advogados

On a state level, some specific sectors considered “essential” (meaning that they continued to operate normally – or were hardly affected – especially at the beginning of the pandemic) had their vaccination schedules prioritised, by the state government, over the rest of the population (eg, health professionals, public transportation drivers and teachers). In spite of that, proof of actual vaccination was not a requirement for individuals in these sectors to keep working during the pandemic.

Last updated on 21/09/2021

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France

  • at Proskauer Rose
  • at Proskauer Rose
  • at Proskauer Rose

Please see above (questions 8 and 9) regarding the workplaces and specific industries concerned by making the access to the workplace conditional on individuals having received a Covid-19 vaccination.

Last updated on 21/09/2021

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Germany

  • at CMS Hasche Sigle

Yes, in the healthcare and nursing sector.

Last updated on 14/04/2022

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Greece

  • at Kyriakides Georgopoulos Law Firm
  • at Kyriakides Georgopoulos Law Firm
  • at Kyriakides Georgopoulos Law Firm

Vaccination is mandatory for specific categories of employees (see above) as well as all employees working at public and private hospitals. Employees of the health and care sector cannot duly provide their services if they are not vaccinated and their employer is released from their obligation to pay salaries.

Last updated on 21/09/2021

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Hong Kong

  • at Lewis Silkin
  • at Lewis Silkin
  • at Lewis Silkin

Yes. The government has made covid-19 vaccination compulsory for civil servants, healthcare workers, care home staff and school teachers; in particular, all civil servants must receive two covid-19 vaccine doses by 1 April 2022, or they will be banned from government premises (unless they hold a medical exemption).

Further, with the introduction of the vaccine pass rules (please refer to our response to Question 8 above to further details), employees who are unvaccinated would be banned from entering their workplace if their workplace is subject to vaccine pass rules. (e.g. shopping malls, restaurants, department stores, supermarkets, and hair salons).

Last updated on 06/04/2022

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India

  • at Nishith Desai
  • at Nishith Desai

The Chief Commissioner of the Bangalore municipal authority (BBMP) has issued a circular on 26 August 2021 stating that employers of commercial establishments, industries, hotels and restaurants, and other offices within BBMP jurisdiction must ensure their employees are vaccinated[1] and also provide regular testing. The Karnataka state government (Bangalore) has also issued direction for labour authorities to ensure employees in industries or factories including IT employees are vaccinated with two doses of covid-19 vaccine, with a direction for labour authorities to check the vaccination status of employees of such establishments[2]. Similarly, in Maharashtra, only fully vaccinated employees are permitted to physically attend private offices[3]. In Tamil Nadu (Chennai), employees and owners of commercial establishments are required to be vaccinated and hold an appropriate vaccination certificate[4]. In West Bengal (Kolkata), private offices have been permitted to operate with certain restrictions subject to vaccination of the employees, with employers being responsible for, inter alia, providing covid safety measures, including vaccination[5]. Given the aforesaid, it is recommended for employers to allow only employees who are fully vaccinated to return to their offices observing covid-appropriate behaviour, while unvaccinated employees can continue to work from home.

However, in a recent judgment, the Meghalaya High Court stated that it is unconstitutional for government authorities to make vaccinations mandatory for individuals at the cost of their livelihood, given existing judgments by the apex court in India considering “right to livelihood” a part of “right to life” under Article 21 of the Indian Constitution. This decision was followed in a Gauhati High Court order (Aizwal Bench) and similar views were taken by the Manipur High Court and Gauhati High Court (Kohima Bench) on state directions regarding mandatory vaccination of individuals. As a result, the constitutionality of a government mandate, such as the one issued by the public health authority in Tamil Nadu and the BBMP commissioner for vaccination of individuals, is debatable.


[1] https://drive.google.com/file/d/19_1A7CtE2Qdy7Fbeihrsh9PHpEAHy8RE/view?usp=sharing

[2] https://ksdma.karnataka.gov.in/storage/pdf-files/CAB%20and%20Vaccination%20Industries%20English%20order%20RD%20158%20TNR%202020%20(3)%20dated%2005-01-2022.pdf

[3] https://www.mygov.in/covid-advisories/maharashtra-order-dated-11082021-regarding-revised-guidelines-break-chain/

[4] http://cms.tn.gov.in/sites/default/files/go/revenue_e_30_2022.pdf

[5] https://wb.gov.in/upload/Circulars%20&%20Notification-220102111255341.pdf

Last updated on 01/02/2022

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Ireland

Ireland

  • at Littler

Not yet. At present, indoor dining is confined to individuals who can provide proof that they are fully vaccinated or that they have recovered from COVID-19 within the previous six months. However, this restriction only relates to customers rather than staff, and so there is no obligation on restaurant or pub staff to be fully vaccinated to gain access to their workplace.

Last updated on 21/09/2021

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Italy

  • at Toffoletto De Luca Tamajo

Yes. Under the provisions of article 4 of Legislative Decree No. 44/2021, health operators have a legal obligation to be vaccinated against Covid-19 to perform their work.

Moreover, the Italian government passed yesterday (16th September 2021) a new Decree Law - which should be published shortly – providing that from 15th October to 31st December 2021, the so-called Green Pass will be required to access the workplace to all employees of the private and public sector.

The Green Pass is the EU certificate which states that the individual has received two doses of the covid-19 vaccination, has recovered from coronavirus, or has tested negative for covid-19 in the previous 48 hours).

Failure to comply with the obligation to check the Green Passes will entail a penalty from 400 to 1,000 euros.

In case the employees fail to comply with the obligation of having a Green Pass the company has to proceed as follows:

  • if the company has at least 15 employees, it has to immediately suspend the employee without pay, until the employee acquires a Green Pass or in any case until 31 December 2021;
  • for companies with fewer than 15 employees, after five days of failing to present a Green Pass, the employer may suspend the employee for a period not exceeding 10 days.

If the employee accesses the work place without the Green Pass, he/she may also be subject to an administrative sanction ranging from 600 to 1,500 euros.

©Toffoletto De Luca Tamajo, ©Ius Laboris

Last updated on 06/12/2021

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Mexico

  • at Marván, González Graf y González Larrazolo
  • at Marván, González Graf y González Larrazolo
  • at Marván, González Graf y González Larrazolo

No, the government has released a covid-19 FAQ where they clarify that vaccination is not mandatory.

Last updated on 21/09/2021

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Netherlands

  • at Rutgers & Posch
  • at Rutgers & Posch

This is not the case, but this might change soon. There are several legislative proposals in this regard expected to be discussed by the House of Representatives or which are currently on-hold in the light of the current covid-19 situation.

Last updated on 08/03/2022

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Poland

  • at Bird & Bird
  • at Bird & Bird

From 1 March 2022, all medical workers will have to be vaccinated. There are no requirements for any other industries or sectors at this stage.

Last updated on 21/03/2022

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Portugal

  • at Cuatrecasas
  • at Cuatrecasas

No, there are not.

Last updated on 21/09/2021

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Qatar

  • at Clyde & Co
  • at Clyde & Co

Not currently, but this may become a requirement in the future.

Last updated on 08/11/2021

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Saudi Arabia

  • at Clyde & Co
  • at Clyde & Co

See question 8.

Last updated on 29/11/2021

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Spain

  • at Cuatrecasas
  • at Cuatrecasas

No, there are not.

Last updated on 21/09/2021

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Sweden

  • at DLA Piper
  • at DLA Piper
  • at DLA Piper

There are no such requirements for any sector. There are currently no recommendations from relevant Swedish authorities that employers should treat unvaccinated employees differently to vaccinated employees.

Last updated on 21/09/2021

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Switzerland

  • at Lenz & Staehelin

No. However, with cases of covid-19 on the rise, the question of whether people working in specific fields, such as the health sector, should be required to be vaccinated is hotly debated.

Last updated on 30/09/2021

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Turkey

  • at Gün + Partners
  • at Gün + Partners
  • at Gün + Partners

No. As mentioned above, the Ministry of Health has stated that the covid-19 vaccination is available voluntarily. Also, according to the Ministry of Labour and Social Security’s general letter, mandatory PCR testing was regulated as a voluntary mechanism at the employer’s discretion, considering different working methods in all workplaces.

On the other hand, the Ministry of Internal Affairs issued a separate circular, which regulated mandatory PCR testing before attending collective activities such as a concert, cinema or theatre; or undergoing intercity travel by plane, bus, train or other means of public transportation, except for private vehicles. Before, it could be possible to say that, in addition to the attendees, employees who facilitate these activities could also be requested to provide a negative PCR test result if they are unvaccinated. Likewise, the Ministry of Education introduced a similar practice at schools. All unvaccinated school staff encountering students face-to-face had to undergo mandatory PCR testing twice a week.

However, as of 14 January, no mandatory PCR testing is deemed required for the following individuals even if they are unvaccinated (or their vaccination processes are not complete) or are not recovered from covid-19 within the past 180 days:

  • those undergoing intercity travel by plane, bus, train or other means of public transportation;
  • those who attend collective activities such as a concert, cinema or theatre;
  • all school staff working at Ministry of Education schools (teachers, service drivers, etc);
  • employees of public and private workplaces; and
  • those attending student camps organised by public or private institutions;

However, mandatory PCR testing is still required for the following individuals:

  • employees of nursing homes, aged-care facilities, prisons or penitentiaries who are unvaccinated or not recovered from covid-19 within the last 180 days, or their vaccination process is not complete;
  • prisoners and convicts at prisons or penitentiaries;
  • those traveling abroad (subject to the rules of the travelled country); and
  • those undergoing intercity travel by plane who are unvaccinated or not recovered from covid-19 within the past 180 days, or their vaccination process is not complete.

With that in mind, all these announcements were qualified as recommendations in terms of their binding power, and therefore several Turkish scholars take the view that employers, especially by gathering Occupational Health and Safety Councils (if they exist), can still decide to mandate PCR testing to ensure occupational health and safety at workplaces by complying with the personal data protection rules.

Last updated on 09/02/2022

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UAE

  • at Clyde & Co
  • at Clyde & Co

The Abu Dhabi Emergency, Crisis and Disasters Committee has announced that, from 20 August 2021, entry to many public spaces in the emirate will only be permitted to those who have been vaccinated and those exempt from having the vaccine. All Abu Dhabi government employees must also be vaccinated and have received a covid-19 booster shot to enter the workplace from 10 January 2022. Regular PCR testing is also mandatory within government offices.

Last updated on 15/03/2022

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United Kingdom

  • at Littler

Yes.

The UK Department of Health and Social Care recently amended applicable regulations (the Health and Social Care Act 2008 (Regulated Activities) Regulations 2014) to make it mandatory for all care home workers and other visiting professionals to be fully vaccinated against Covid-19 unless they have an exemption or there is an emergency. The changes took effect from 11 November 2021. Proposals to extend this to all health and social care workers with face-to-face contact with patients and service users are currently being discussed by the UK government. If passed in their current form this expanded vaccine requirement would be effective from 1 April 2022.

Last updated on 13/01/2022

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United States

  • at Littler
  • at Littler
  • at Littler

Yes, this includes the healthcare industry, as well as some federal and municipal agencies.

Up-to-date information on the USA’s response to the pandemic, including State-level news and developments, can be found at Littler’s covid hub here.

Last updated on 21/09/2021