Belgium – Covid-19: guidance on implementing a vaccination strategy at work

As the Covid-19 vaccination process gathers steam, employers around the world consider what their vaccination strategy will be once (and if) the vaccine becomes available to all employees. In this context, companies examine to what extent they can require employees to take the vaccine and/or restrict those who do not from entering the workplace. 

Faced with an increasing number of questions in this respect, the Belgian Data Protection Authority (“DPA”) released an FAQ in this respect on 29 January 2021. We have summarised in our newsletter how the DPA proposes to answer some of the most pressing questions of the moment and review these in light of recent Employment law developments. We also set out some options companies may consider at present to incentivize vaccination at work. 

Key take-aways:

  • At present, employers cannot oblige their employees to get vaccinated, but can already consider setting up a vaccination campaign, promoting employees’ forthcoming right to paid vaccination leave and/or (potentially) including a vaccination coverage as a collective objective within the framework of a CBA n° 90 bonus to encourage vaccination; and
  • Vaccination data is health-related personal data. According to the DPA, the processing of such data, including by (i) requiring employees to disclose their vaccination status, (ii) keeping records thereof, and (iii) taking actions on that basis (such as granting or refusing access to the workplace), is not allowed as the law currently stands.

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