Google and Facebook will require US employees to be fully vaccinated before retuning to offices
The policy is set to expand "to other regions in the coming months."
Tech companies Google and Facebook will require US employees to be fully vaccinated against Covid-19 before allowing them to return to work in their offices.
In an email sent to more than 130,000 Google employees worldwide, CEO Sundar Pichai said the company will first impose the requirement at Google’s headquarters in Mountain View in California and other US offices.
The company may eventually expand the requirement to the other 40 countries where Google have bases worldwide, including Ireland, as the policy is likely to expand to "other regions in the coming months".
Pichai said: "You'll get guidance from your local leads about how this will affect you, and we'll also share more details on an exceptions process for those who cannot be vaccinated for medical or other protected reasons.
In his latest letter to staff, Pichai also said that the company's work-from-home policy would now be extended to 18 October after initial plans to reopen offices in September were scrapped.
He said the company would keep an eye on the Covid-19 situation and would give staff at least 30 days notice before they move to the full "return-to-office plan".
"For those of you with special circumstances, we will soon be sharing expanded temporary work options that will allow you to apply to work from home through the end of 2021," he added.
Google told JOE that they had "nothing specific to share on Ireland's plans" outside of the details which have already been shared, adding that the "implementation will vary according to local conditions and regulations, and will not apply until vaccines are widely available in your area."
It comes as Facebook also said on Wednesday that their offices would only be open for fully vaccinated workers when they reopen.
"We will be requiring anyone coming to work at any of our US campuses to be vaccinated," Facebook Vice President of People Lori Goler told JOE on Thursday.
"We will have a process for those who cannot be vaccinated for medical or other reasons and will be evaluating our approach in other regions as the situation evolves."
When asked if the requirement would also apply to Irish facilities, Goler told JOE: "How we implement this policy will depend on local conditions and regulations."
Employers in Ireland currently cannot legally require staff to be vaccinated, however, Government guidelines suggest they may be able to redeploy workers to other tasks if deemed necessary while the pandemic continues.