10.1 Can employers require employees to be vaccinated against COVID-19 in order to access the workplace?
Employers may not oblige employees to get vaccinated against COVID-19 as a requirement to access the workplace. Given that it is not a legal obligation for an individual to get vaccinated against COVID-19, it is understood that likewise an employer may not impose such an obligation on his employees, in the same manner in which an employer may not oblige an employee to take any other form of vaccination. However, other policies may be adopted at the workplace to ensure the health and safety of the employees.
10.2 Can employers require employees to carry out COVID-19 testing or impose other requirements in order to access the workplace?
Employers may adopt their own Health and Safety Policies at the place of work, and therefore they may adopt a policy whereby employees might be required to carry out COVID-19 testing. Employers may also impose other requirements on employees such as social distancing, wearing of face masks, use of hand sanitisers and temperature checking prior to accessing the workplace.
10.3 Do employers need to change the terms and conditions of employment to adopt a “hybrid working” model where employees split their working time between home and the workplace?
Upon the agreement of the employer and the employee to adopt a hybrid working model, employers must change the terms and conditions of employment in order to reflect the details of how the hybrid working model will be implemented. A Teleworking Agreement will need to be incorporated or added to the Employment Agreement and it must include all the details pertaining to teleworking, in writing, as outlined in the Telework National Standard Order (S.L. 452.104) and the Information to Employees Regulations (S.L. 452.83).
10.4 Do employees have a right to work from home if this is possible even once workplaces re-open?
Employees do not have a right to work from home, unless such employees have a Teleworking Agreement in place or have otherwise reached an agreement with the employer. Employees will therefore have to continue carrying out their work from their workplace or to return physically to the workplace, should this be requested of them.
Av. Charlene Gauci
Mifsud & Mifsud Advocates
This article was first published in ICLG – Employment & Labour Law and may be accessed on the ICLG to Employment and Labour Law 2022 publication.
For more information you can contact one of our Team Members at Mifsud & Mifsud Advocates.