Frontline well being employees must point out their Covid-19 vaccination standing whether it is requested by their employer underneath a brand new directive due shortly from the HSE.
This can come following a ruling from the Information Safety Commissioner that vaccination could also be thought-about as a “vital security measure” in sure conditions, together with frontline well being companies.
The HSE will write to employees indicating that it could search details about their vaccination standing as a part of a danger evaluation for different employees and sufferers, in keeping with The Irish Times.
A brand new strategy from the HSE will see employees members moved from patient-facing duties the place a danger is deemed to exist.
Nonetheless, the particular person may very well be left within the place if a change would improve general danger, for instance a scenario the place no certified employees member is accessible to exchange them.
The Information Safety Commissioner had discovered that there isn’t a authorized foundation for employers to gather details about workers’ vaccination standing.
Nonetheless, it’s thought-about a “vital security measure” in distinctive conditions reminiscent of frontline well being.
Whereas the HSE has mentioned the overwhelming majority of employees have taken up the supply of vaccination, it has not been to supply figures for the quantity declining it.
The Information Safety Commissioner mentioned the processing of vaccine information “is prone to signify pointless and extreme information assortment for which no clear authorized foundation exists”.
This was “significantly the case” within the absence of public well being recommendation about accumulating such information.
The steerage notes that present public well being insurance policies define a restricted set of circumstances the place vaccination needs to be provided “as a office well being and security measure”.
“There could also be additional conditions, reminiscent of within the provision of frontline healthcare companies, the place vaccination might be thought-about a vital security measure, based mostly on related sector particular steerage.”
It factors out that the Medical Council’s recommendation states that docs they need to be vaccinated towards frequent communicable ailments.
“In these conditions it’s probably that an employer shall be able to lawfully course of vaccine information on the idea of necessity.”
Bodily distancing, masks, air flow and home-working stay in place “no matter the vaccination rollout” are all a part of Authorities office protocols.
“There stays a full suite of measures that employers ought to make use of to keep up office security earlier than contemplating whether or not information of vaccination standing is a vital measure.”
Employers are required to implement all these measures that keep away from processing of workers’ private information “within the first place”.
An individual’s vaccination standing is afforded further protections underneath information safety legislation, whereas the choice to be vaccinated is voluntary.
“This additional means that Covid-19 vaccination shouldn’t basically be thought-about a vital office security measure and consequently, the processing of vaccine information is unlikely to be vital or proportionate within the employment context.”
The Information Safety Commissioner factors out that particular person staff are usually not accountable for when they are going to obtain a vaccine underneath the nationwide rollout, whereas a lot of youthful employees is probably not totally vaccinated for a number of months.
These causes imply in search of out details about vaccination standing cannot be thought-about “vital or proportionate” in most conditions.
“For these causes, there doesn’t seem like a sufficiently evidence-based justification to think about that information and processing of vaccination standing might be thought-about vital in employment presently.
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“Workers shouldn’t be requested to consent to the processing of vaccine information as this consent isn’t prone to be freely given.”