HR Law Hotline: Back to office? Legal considerations for a covid-free workplace

Posted by By at 20 July, at 11 : 20 AM Print

July 20, 2021

BACK TO OFFICE? LEGAL CONSIDERATIONS FOR A COVID-FREE WORKPLACE


This article was originally published on 12th July 2021 in


SUMMARY

While offices are bound to reopen in due course, employers have an obligation of duty of care towards their employees to provide for a safe and healthy workplace. Even with one case of COVID-19 infected employee, the entire workplace and their families can be at risk.

Several employers, especially in the IT/ITES sector have had a positive work from home (WFH) experience. However, as the second wave and related lockdown ends in several parts of the country, employers would be keen to require their employees to return to office. Apple has recently announced that its staff will be required to work at least three-days a week at their desks. Similarly, Amazon is expecting its employees in the U.S., U.K. and other countries to resume working on site, for at least three days a week.

HR managers have already started to plan return to offices. For an initial phase, employers are likely to prefer employees who are vaccinated, as they have lower risk of being infected with COVID-19 virus. With the vaccination drive being in an overtime mode in India and thanks to the introduction of Liberalised Pricing and Accelerated National COVID-19 Vaccination Strategy of the government, a majority of the employees are likely to be vaccinated in the next few months. India has administered more than 8 million COVID-19 vaccine doses on June 21, 2021, which is the highest single-day number of jabs in the world.

While offices are bound to reopen in due course, employers have an obligation of duty of care towards their employees to provide for a safe and healthy workplace. Even with one case of COVID-19 infected employee, the entire workplace and their families can be at risk.

We are listing below certain legal considerations for HR managers in order to build a Covid-free workplace:

For complete article, please click here.

 

– Archita Mohapatra & Vikram ShroffYou can direct your queries or comments to the author


Benchmark Litigation Asia-Pacific:Tier 1 for Government & Regulatory and Tax
2020, 2019, 2018

Legal500 Asia-Pacific:Tier 1 for Tax, Investment Funds, Labour & Employment and TMT
20a20, 2019, 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012

Chambers and Partners Asia-Pacific:Band 1 for Employment, Lifesciences, Tax and TMT
2020, 2019, 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015

IFLR1000:Tier 1 for Private Equity and Project Development: Telecommunications Networks.
2020, 2019, 2018, 2017, 2014

AsiaLaw Asia-Pacific Guide 2020:Ranked ‘Outstanding’ for TMT, Labour & Employment, Private Equity, Regulatory and Tax

FT Innovative Lawyers Asia Pacific 2019 Awards: NDA ranked 2nd in the Most Innovative Law Firm category (Asia-Pacific Headquartered)

RSG-Financial Times: India’s Most Innovative Law Firm
2019, 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014

Who’s Who Legal 2020:
• Nishith Desai- Thought leader (Corporate Tax 2020, India 2020), Global leaders
(Private Funds 2020)
• Vikram Shroff-Global Leaders (Labour & Employment 2020, Pensions & Benefits 2020)
• Milind Antani- Pharma & Healthcare – only Indian Lawyer to be recognized for
‘Life sciences – Regulatory,’ for 5 years consecutively


DISCLAIMER

The contents of this hotline should not be construed as legal opinion. View detailed disclaimer.

This Hotline provides general information existing at the time of preparation. The Hotline is intended as a news update and Nishith Desai Associates neither assumes nor accepts any responsibility for any loss arising to any person acting or refraining from acting as a result of any material contained in this Hotline. It is recommended that professional advice be taken based on the specific facts and circumstances. This Hotline does not substitute the need to refer to the original pronouncements.

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