Hong Kong’s Vaccine Pass – A Pass for Employers to Fire Unvaccinated Staff?

Confirmed coronavirus infections are expected to exceed previous highs amidst Hong Kong’s fifth wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Government has responded by implementing the city’s toughest social-distancing restrictions to date with the roll-out of the ‘Vaccine Pass’, which takes effect from 24 February 2022 in an attempt to protect citizens and also drive up vaccination rates. As part of this initiative, the Government has also proposed significant amendments to the Employment Ordinance (Cap. 57) (“EO”) including a potential ‘right’ for employers to terminate staff who do not fulfil Vaccine Pass requirements.  

Can an Employer Require its Employees to Test for COVID-19 in Hong Kong?

The rise in Covid-19 cases has left many employers in Hong Kong contemplating whether they can lawfully require their employees to undergo testing for Covid-19. In times like these, employers find themselves trying to balance their business interests and continuity on one hand, with employees’ concerns and sensitivities on the other. In this article we discuss factors that employers should consider when requesting or directing employees to undergo Covid-19 testing.

Hong Kong’s COVID-19 Vaccination Programme: Employer Considerations

The Hong Kong government has commenced implementation of a COVID-19 vaccination programme intended to cover all Hong Kong residents across the territory. Vaccinations are offered free of charge with the stated aim of safeguarding public health and helping to allow further easing of restrictions and a gradual return to normal life and activities. At this stage, the rollout is prioritising vaccination of individuals within vulnerable and high-risk groups, such as the elderly and healthcare workers, but should extend to all groups during the course of this year.