Can you do that? HR, IT and Covid-19 Vaccinations

Feb 19, 2021
  • IT
  • people
  • SAP

During the first wave of the Covid-19 pandemic, we were informed real-time as home-grown data analysts with the insights of virologists and specialists from Sciensano or Johns Hopkins. Now that the whole world has started to vaccinate, several initiatives are being set up in this area to monitor and follow the progress of vaccinations. In Belgium, this is done via the Covid Vaccinations Belgium Dashboard.

In this context, companies wonder how they can support the vaccination campaign and whether they themselves can collect information about vaccination progress within their organization.

What can we do in view of HR?

In this transitional situation, we could ask ourselves whether it is possible to further monitor the progress of the vaccination within your company. If we let our imagination run wild, we could come up with the following solutions, for example:

  • A Pulse Survey to discover who intends to get vaccinated, anonymously if necessary;
  • Register the vaccination status of the employees in a portlet on SAP SuccessFactors;
  • Keep track of the planned vaccination date via a chatbot;
  • Dashboarding of the vaccination demand and progress in all its aspects;
  • Predictive analytics to predict when we will reach the point of herd immunity;
  • But as indicated in the title, can you do that?

Privacy specialist Matthias Dobbelaere-Welvaert says the following: 

“It is of course important that employers put the health of their employees first. We understand that in these difficult times companies often search for options to reconcile the common good with the individual privacy of each employee or freelancer. It is clear that an employer cannot demand that an employee be vaccinated, nor that it can keep track of who has or has not been vaccinated. Such data fall under Article 9 of the GDPR, namely the processing of ‘sensitive or particular data’.

There are numerous exceptions, especially when there is a legal obligation on governments or companies. The only way companies could trace vaccinations is if the government forces them to do so - but that seems highly unlikely given the sensitivities surrounding this. Legally speaking, there is therefore no obvious possibility, at least at the moment, to monitor the vaccinations of employees, or freelancers for that matter.

It is also important to pay attention with temperature scanners (only allowed when no identification is possible), the imposition of bluetooth bracelets that measure the distance between employees (especially when these centralized data are passed on to the employer) and other 'innovative' solutions to fight Covid-19. The general interest must always be weighed against individual privacy. Although ethical discussions can of course be held whether or not privacy is deemed too significant in this debate, it is nevertheless quite simple from a legal point of view: as a private company (unlike governments), one can do very little, except properly inform and count on the citizenship of the staff.”

How delaware eases the transition to the ‘new normal’

It is clear that collecting personalized data by the employer is subject to very strict conditions, not to say it’s prohibited. The information collected by the government on the Covid Vaccinations Belgium Dashboard is the only source of data the interested data scientist can use today.

Customers who have opted for cloud solutions for their business, can count on their partners to rapidly evolve their software and provide appropriate solutions - always within the legal context.

delaware has launched several initiatives to support its own people and customers wherever possible during the pandemic. For example, the company has developed a Seat Reservation App, which employees can use to reserve a place at the office when it is allowed to work there. In addition, we have developed the CX Covid-19 Pulse, which allows companies to find out in a very accessible way how employees feel and deal with the current situation. This provides interesting insights and gives companies the opportunity to provide even better guidance to employees during this pandemic.

You can always contact delaware for advice on this matter, more specifically in the field of the digital workplace and the new way of working, employee engagement, optimization of HR systems and for specific apps such as Seat Reservation and the Covid-19 Pulse Survey.

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