With the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19), employers are facing increasingly complex challenges in the day-to-day operation of their businesses. A key issue that many employers are facing is how to stop the disease spreading within their workforce, and what measures to implement to protect employees and the business. This is particularly crucial in international companies with highly mobile workforces, where the risk of infection and contagion is higher.
To respond to the increasing threat of the virus, numerous employers are considering monitoring their employee’s state of health, their travel plans in and outside of work and their possible contacts with infected individuals outside the workplace. Employers are taking two approaches to stop the spread of the virus: either actively monitoring these factors, for example by asking employees to regularly fill in health questionnaires, and/or implementing policies and procedures to minimise the risk of infection and contagion.
Some data protection authorities have started to provide guidance, but there are divergent views on how employers should comply with data protection requirements, depending on the jurisdiction.