Singapore employers cannot require staff to disclose vaccination status against Covid-19 unless necessary

SINGAPORE: Employers here have no legal power to compel staff members to disclose their vaccination status against Covid-19 or demand that they be inoculated.

Experts and employers noted that while vaccination is strongly encouraged in Singapore, it remains voluntary, although there are several ways in which people can be encouraged to be punched.

These will focus more as Singapore begins deploying Covid-19 vaccines to the wider population, with reservations open to Singaporeans aged 12 to 39 from Friday (June 11).

The chairman of the Singapore Institute of Human Resources (SHRI), Low Peck Kem, told The Straits Times that unless there is a business need, employers should not force staff to disclose if they have had a punch or take punitive action against those who are not inoculated or refuse to update their vaccination status.

“Even if there is a strong business need, such as the need to know to determine if the employee can travel for business or deploy to front-line risk functions, clearly explain why the company needs to know the ‘state and in general most employees will comply,’ ‘he said.

Mayank Parekh, executive director of the Institute for Human Resource Professionals (IHRP), said bosses should not use non-vaccination as a reason to finish work, as there may be medical reasons why a staff member received no shots.

Tan Wei Ming, a senior partner at law firm CMS Holborn Asia, said that if employers want to have records of vaccinated employees containing personal data such as names, they must do so in accordance with the Personal Data Protection Act and other applicable data protection laws.

“For these reasons, it is unlikely that Singapore companies will have their employees declare their vaccination status at this time,” he added.

WongPartnership’s joint internship chief Jenny Tsin said staff members should not be discriminated against because of their vaccination status, as it is voluntary.

However, there could be circumstances that warrant a different approach, such as for jobs that carry a higher risk of exposure to Covid-19, he added.

In this case, it might be more justified to limit the return to the workplace only to vaccinated employees.

Investment bank Goldman Sachs recently ordered its employees in the United States to report their vaccination status against Covid-19 as part of its plans to return to office, AFP reported Thursday.

ST understands that Goldman Sachs does not require staff here to report their vaccination status and that most still work from home.

While professional services firm EY strongly encourages its eligible staff to be vaccinated, it does not require them to declare their status as vaccination is not mandatory, said Max Loh, managing partner of Singapore and Brunei.

UOB chief human resources chief Dean Tong said the bank has encouraged staff performing essential functions to get vaccinated since the government announced the deployment of key workers in the financial sector in March.

ST understands that UOB does not monitor the vaccination status of employees.

Meanwhile, Sembcorp Industries has introduced an app that provides voluntary updates on a person’s vaccination status.

The app, which was developed indoors, is also used to get online approval of essential visits to facilities.

An Amazon spokesman said that in general the company’s employees and associates are not required to declare their vaccination status, except for staff members traveling to Singapore from abroad.

The firm also provides a cash advantage to front-line employees and associates who pay by the hour when they receive off-site vaccination.

Mrs. Low and Mr. Parekh of SHRI’s IHRP said employers can encourage vaccination by communicating benefits to their staff, as well as encouraging vaccination through means such as free time after receiving beatings and giving workers a package of care. .

Samir Bedi, Asean’s workforce advisory leader at EY, noted that it would not be surprising for employers to include vaccination as a prerequisite for future job descriptions, especially for job vacancies. first line requiring face-to-face interactions.

“This not only protects employees and their families, but also ensures the safety of the public. Employees traveling for work may also have to comply with travel regulations before traveling,” he said.

But companies need to remain inclusive and take into account the needs of people who may not get vaccinated for health reasons, Bedi said.

He added: “This requires employers to continue to take safe precautions in the workplace, while ensuring equal professional opportunities for all.”

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