HR Specialist says employers are "legally not allowed to ask" if employees have been vaccinated
“Just needing to know so you know isn’t a good enough reason."
HR Specialist Caroline Reidy from the HR Suite has said that employers are "legally not allowed to ask" if employees have been vaccinated against Covid-19.
Reidy told Newstalk on Tuesday: “We’re legally not allowed ask. The Data Protection Commissioner has been very strict in her advice in relation to ensuring we don’t ask in general circumstances unless there is an exceptional reason.
“Just needing to know so you know isn’t a good enough reason.
“What we’re advising people… is to make sure we do lots of reassurance by doing a really good risk assessment, ensuring we’ve as much physical distancing as possible, looking at hand hygiene, looking at using masks.”
There is set to be a phased return to offices from 20 September, however, Reidy added that it would be a "very unwise move" for any company to prevent remote working in some instances.
She said: “Ultimately, your place of work is whatever is outlined in your contract of employment - if it says your workplace is ‘x location’, you’re required to go back there.
“However, from a realistic perspective, it’s important [for an employer] to engage with [that employee].
"If they don’t have childcare, what does that look like? If the employer just says ‘you must return’, for many workers that will mean they’ll be dusting off their CV and looking for a job that’s going to give them better flexibility.”