India has started a vaccination drive against novel coronavirus infection with healthcare workers at the frontline of the country’s COVID-19 battle getting their first jabs.
The beginning of the inoculation drive has posed a challenge before multinational companies operating in India and big domestic firms that how to deal with employees who refuse to take coronavirus vaccine when they return to the office, reported Business Standard.
According to the report, a top European business group with representatives from leading companies is planning to request the government to issue guidelines on COVID-19 vaccination. For this, it is looking to approach the government through national industry associations as well European Union bodies, it said.
“We have had a discussion on this issue and plan to seek guidance from the government,” said the report citing a senior executive of a European major. However, any talk on this issue would happen only after the first round of vaccination is over, the official added.
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“Employment is a private contact between employee and employer. The terms can be changed by the latter and need to be accepted. One has to see whether incorporating the clause is lawful and or not. In this case, the intention is clear -- protecting the employees,” Sanjeev Kumar, a partner in Luthra & Luthra Partners, told the publication.
As per HR firms, the move will depend on the nature of the job, the report stated. For instance, in firms where work can be done remotely, there will be no problem or change required. However, for jobs that require working in close proximity, companies could mandate taking the COVID-19 vaccine for new recruitment as well as current employees, Rituparna Chakraborty, co- founder and executive president of TeamLease was quoted as saying.
The Centre has made it clear that the choice of taking the COVID-19 vaccine is voluntary.
India’s drug regulator has approved two vaccines - Covaxin developed by Bharat Biotech and Covishield from the Oxford/AstraZeneca stable being manufactured by the Serum Institute of India (SII) -- for emergency use in the country.Follow our full coverage on COVID-19 here.