Whether by government or corporate mandate, the requirement that workers be vaccinated against covid-19 is straining employer-employee relationships worldwide. While the technological hurdles of remote working may have been employers’ biggest challenge in 2020, vaccine hesitancy and outright anti-vaxx positions taken by some workers is the most significant workplace flashpoint facing businesses attempting to recover from the pandemic in 2021. As the year draws to a close, employment law experts from leading law firms around the globe join together to discuss:
- Workforce vaccination challenges across the US, Europe, and Asia-Pacific;
- How to improve vaccination rates;
- How to respond to genuine exemption requests and protect the unvaccinated;
- How to deal with vaccine misinformation in the workplace; and
- Business risks of failing to implement vaccine mandates or long-term covid testing.
Michael Michalandos, Partner - Asia Pacific Chair, Employment & Compensation, Baker McKenzie (Sydney, Australia)
Michael Michalandos is the head of Baker McKenzie’s Asia-Pacific employment team. He has over 20 years' experience as an employment law and industrial relations lawyer, acting for numerous global and local clients in a range of industries including banking and finance, life sciences, information technology, education, retail, insurance, health and pharmaceuticals, telecommunications, real estate, media and entertainment, and professional services.
Michael advises on all aspects of employment and industrial law, including employee and executive agreements and remuneration schemes, human resources systems, performance management and termination, anti-discrimination and bullying, workplace investigations, redundancy and restructuring, work health and safety, independent contractors and outsourcing, confidentiality, and post-employment restrictions. Michael also regularly conducts employment related-litigation and has acting for employers in a number of high-profile matters.
Michael has a global practice and works with Baker McKenzie lawyers across the region on complex cross-border employment issues. As head of Asia-Pacific employment, he is a thought leader on developing employment law issues in the region.
Michael places a great emphasis on a commercial, practical, and innovative application of his legal expertise. He regularly prepares and conducts internal management training sessions and interactive role plays for clients and has developed and published compliance programmes and best practice policies locally and regionally across the Asia Pacific region. Michael is a regular contributor to CCH’s Australian Master Human Resources Guide.
Michael is recognised by a number of key peer review legal directories including Chambers Asia Pacific and Best Lawyers Australia.
Steven J Pearlman, Partner - Co-Head Whistleblowing & Retaliation Group, Proskauer (Chicago, United States)
Steven J Pearlman is a partner in the labour and employment law department and co-head of the whistleblowing and retaliation group. Steven’s practice covers the full spectrum of employment law, with a focus on claims of discrimination, retaliation and harassment, restrictive covenant violations, theft of trade secrets, wage-and-hour violations, whistleblower retaliation, and breach of contract. He defends nationwide class and collective actions, as well as single-plaintiff actions. He has successfully tried cases in multiple jurisdictions, and defended what is reported to be one of the largest Illinois-only class actions in the history of the US District Court for the Northern District of Illinois. Reporting to boards of directors and their audit committees, he also conducts sensitive investigations and has testified in federal court.
Emma Rohsler, Partner - Regional Head of Employment - EMEA, Herbert Smith Freehills (Paris, France)
Emma Rohsler is the regional head of employment for EMEA, located in Paris and specialises in French and European cross-border employment law matters.
In particular, she helps clients on national and cross-border transactions and restructuring, executive terminations and hires, international mobility issues (including transfer of employees), French HR management matters, and has a strong litigation practice.
Emma is cited in legal rankings such as Legal 500 and Chambers.