Legal Alerts/9 Feb 2021

FAQs for COVID-19 Vaccination in Finland

The ongoing COVID-19 vaccinations have raised several employment related questions in terms of Finnish legislation. We have provided answers to some frequently asked questions below.

Can employers require that employees get vaccinated?

Employers cannot mandate or require that employees get vaccinated against COVID-19. The vaccinations are completely voluntary for employees. If vaccinations become available for all employees through occupational health care, employers can only inform employees about this possibility.

Can employers ask for a proof of vaccination from employees?

Employers are not allowed to ask for a proof of vaccination from employees as personal data concerning vaccinations is deemed as sensitive health data. The preconditions for employees’ health data processing are very unlikely to be met.

Can employers prevent non-vaccinated employees from working at the workplace?

No. Employers cannot and should not exclude employees who are not vaccinated from working at the workplace. Employers should not even get informed of which employees are vaccinated and which are not. Employers cannot request vaccination data from their employees or encourage employees to provide their vaccination data to them if employers are not entitled to process such health data.

Employers can generally recommend remote work for non-vaccinated employees. Due to the equal treatment of employees, employers must, however, offer the same remote work opportunities for all other employees as well.

Can employers offer vaccines to employees through occupational health care?

Against the common opinion, occupational health care providers are allowed to vaccinate employees. The Finnish Health Insurance Act will most likely be amended in the near future so that vaccinations received through occupational health care can be reimbursed by the Finnish government, which is not yet the case.

Borenius’ lawyers are available to assist in addressing any questions you may have regarding this topic.

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Additional information

Jani Syrjänen