COVID-19: Can organisations require assignees and business travellers to be vaccinated?

Vaccinations against COVID-19

Airlines will require travellers to be vaccinated before being permitted to travel too, at least initially.

Finally, it is also important for HR teams to bear in mind that assignees and business travellers need to act in accordance with the relevant legislation of the host country. As such, if an employee travels, or is assigned, to a location where vaccination against Covid-19 is mandatory for all, the employee will be required to be vaccinated in order to enter (or remain if the order is issued after the employee arrives). As with all matters concerning the spread of Covid-19 and our efforts to manage its impact, the situation remains fluid and pragmatism is required by HR teams when dealing with its impact on an organisation’s international operations and the mobility of staff between entities. Requiring an employee to be vaccinated in order to travel is unlikely to be legal unless it is a legal requirement in either the employee’s home or host location.

However, there are circumstances where an organisation can justifiably be seen to be acting in the interests of the employee, their colleagues and the organisation overall by preventing overseas travel unless the traveller has received an effective vaccination against the virus. As always, having a policy and communicating it clearly will be critical for all employees to understand what the company’s stance on the matter will be.

FIND OUT MORE If you have any questions about the management or safeguarding of assignees in areas affected by the coronavirus, please get in touch with ECA International.

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