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High-polluting leaded petrol was recently eradicated from the world, eliminating what was identified as a huge threat to human health and well-being, as well as its devastating effect on nature. This is just the latest development in the Environmental, Social and Governance and climate change story, which has evolved at ferocious speed over the past two-three years and has now become a key focus for both governments and organisations alike.

On 2 September 2021, the Sex Discrimination and Fair Work (Respect at Work) Amendment Bill 2021 was passed by both the Senate and the House or Representatives. Once it receives royal assent, it will operate to amend the following pieces of legislation: the Australian Human Rights Commission Act 1986, the Fair Work Act 2009, and the Sex Discrimination Act 1984.

Reclassification of individuals or activities for one purpose can have knock on consequences to business models and can lead to issues and liabilities in areas such as employment, wage tax, pensions, tax and regulatory. A decision or change in one area of law may be a time to re-assess the business model and consider whether that determination might have wider commercial implications.

As a part of its annual Virtual Trade Week series, US Customs and Border Protection issued a list of Frequently Asked Questions on forced labor (“the FAQs”). The FAQs consist of responses to ten questions focused on current issues and latest developments in forced labor enforcement.

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.

Baker McKenzie has a team in place that has been advising clients in real-time on critical issues surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic since the first shelter-in-place/stay-at-home orders were enacted. The latest update on 27 August 2021 reflects these developments:
• The following jurisdictions extended their state-wide orders and/or the duration of the current phase of their reopening plans: Delaware, Illinois, Iowa, and New Mexico.
• The following jurisdictions imposed new face-covering requirements: Illinois, Nevada, Oregon, Washington, and West Virginia.

Following the example of companies in other countries, a number of companies in the Netherlands recently announced the requirement for employees to be vaccinated before they can return to the workplace. The announcement led to major discussion in the Netherlands, as a vaccination obligation would be a breach of fundamental rights. In this monthly feature, we discuss the possibility of requiring employees to be vaccinated.

Singapore’s Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, at his recent National Day Rally speech, acknowledged the anxiety felt by middle income Singaporeans over foreign work pass holders, especially with the economic uncertainty heightened by COVID-19.

Addressing what he described as personal and emotional arguments by Singaporeans over perceived foreign competition for jobs and opportunities, the prime minister signaled that the government will introduce new anti-discrimination laws with a range of penalties extending beyond the current administrative penalties, such as restrictions on an employer from hiring foreign workers.

We are advising employers on the permissibility of vaccine mandates in particular jurisdictions, the ability to require proof of vaccination (including data privacy considerations), how to treat employees who refuse vaccines, workplace health and safety requirements, and much more.

US employers want employees to return to the brick and mortar workplace but with the COVID-19 Delta variant rampaging across the US and elsewhere, many employers are requiring employees to be vaccinated before they return – and they are requiring proof of vaccination. So, what can employers do to track the vaccination status of their employees?

In this Quick Chat video, our Labor and Employment and Data Privacy lawyers discuss risks and best practices for US employers on tracking proof of employee vaccinations, and take a look at data privacy issues that can arise.