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With major vaccine developments in Latin America, including kick-offs for vaccine campaigns, employers should consider whether a vaccination policy is right for their workplace, keeping in mind that such policies implicate a broad range of employment laws and regulations, and that many of these vary from country to country.

The following questions and answers address many of the legal issues across key markets in Latin America that employers should take into account as they evaluate the role of vaccinations in their return-to-office plans:

  • Are there national health programs under which the population are or will be given COVID-19 vaccines and how are these advancing in each country?
  • Have government authorities issued any guidelines on the administration of COVID-19 vaccines in the workplace?
  • Do employers in the private sector have access to vaccines for their employees? How is this regulated and is there any liability for the employers?
  • Are mandatory vaccination policies in the workplace permissible?
  • Can employers prevent employees from returning to the workplace if they have not been vaccinated?

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Author

Felipe Graham is a Partner in Baker McKenzie Buenos Aires office. He is a member of the Labor, Employment & Compensation team. Felipe routinely advises on the full scope of Labor and Employment issues, including employee compensation and benefits, employment litigation, collective and individual bargaining agreements, executive and mass terminations, shutdowns, local and international executive hiring, discipline procedures, wage and hours issues, Workers' Compensation matters, employment and social security issues in M&A due diligence procedures and deals and compliance investigations. Felipe is a member of the Firm's Regional Steering Committee for the Healthcare & Life Sciences industry group.

Author

Maria del Rosario Lombera is member of Baker McKenzie’s Employment Practice Group in Mexico City. She was a member of the Mexican Commission of Employers before the International Labour Organization at annual conferences in the Commissions of Social Security and Globalization and Employment, and has participated in several meetings of seasoned practitioners in the field of social security. Maria joined Baker McKenzie Abogados in 1985, and became a partner in 2005. She spoke in several seminars including the Technical Workshop on Unemployment Insurance Systems in America held in Florida and Montevideo, Uruguay.

Author

Tatiana Garces Carvajal is a lawyer and a specialist in labor law, graduated from Pontificia Universidad Javeriana, with post-graduate studies in commercial law from Universidad de los Andes. She has over 30 years of experience advising major clients on matters related to individual and collective labor law. For three years, she worked as the director in charge of the HR Department, head of the Legal Division of the Betania Plant, and as a lawyer in the Legal Department of Alcalis de Colombia. Previously, she worked as head of the Personnel Department at AGA Ltda., and as a paralegal at a law firm. In addition to her experience as professor, lecturer, author of several publications and arbitrator in labor collective disputes, she served as technical adviser to the employers’ delegate for Colombia at the 98th Session of the International Labor Organization in Geneva (2015). She also participated at the 93rd Conference (2009). She joined the Baker McKenzie Bogota office in 1992 as an associate in the Labor Law Department, and was appointed partner in July 2000. She also serves as managing partner of the Baker McKenzie Bogota office and regional leader of the Employment and Compensation group in Latin America and the Employment and Compensation practice at the Bogota office. As representative for LA, she is a member of the steering committee of the Global Employment and Compensation Group of Baker McKenzie, and in her capacity as managing partner of the Bogota office, she is a member of Baker McKenzie’s Global Policy Committee.

Author

Andres Valdes heads the Labor & Employment Practice Group of the Santiago office. He has more than 18 years of experience in advising Chilean and foreign companies in the areas of employment contracts, litigation, immigration, social security and pension funds, international executive transfers, workforce reductions, CBAs and union negotiations. He also has experience in corporate law matters, leading the acquisition of local businesses by foreign investors. He has provided pro bono advise to education foundations in Santiago.

Author

Monica Pizarro is a partner in Estudio Echecopar. She has extensive experience in labor law, social security, litigation, immigration and mobility. She also regularly assists clients designing complex compensation structures, including tax and labor planning, as well as counseling in modifications on employment relationships due to M&A. She has been a consultant for the International Labor Organization and the Judicial Academy and teaches several Labor Law courses at Pontificia Universidad Catolica del Peru and other universities since 2006.

Author

Carlos A. Felce sits on the Steering Committee of Baker McKenzie's Latin America Employment and Labor Practice Group, and is one of the coordinators of the Firm’s Labor & Employment Practice Group in Venezuela. He is ranked among the leading labor and employment lawyers in Venezuela by Chambers Latin America. Mr. Felce is also a professor of labor law at Universidad Católica Andrés Bello and Universidad Metropolitana.

Author

Alberto Gonzalez Torres practices in the area of employment law. He is a member of the Buenos Aires Bar Association and the San Isidro Bar Association. Alberto frequently contributes to The Global Employer — a Firm-sponsored publication — and has served as speaker for several Baker McKenzie conferences. He also co-authored Argentina's Proposed Labor Law Agreements for the National Law Center.

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