Privacy Law During COVID-19: What You Need To Know When Monitoring Employee Health

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Executive Summary

To support COVID-19 infection control, employers are putting in place new strategies to capture data on employee health and travel activities outside of work. Firms rolling out these programmes need to better understand what data they are allowed to capture and share under local privacy, data protection and employment laws. This report provides corporate executives with an introductory guide to managing employee health data in line with regulations across China, Europe and the US. The report considers regulations such as the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) in the US and GDPR in the EU. The report also sets out three smart health monitoring strategies that all businesses should consider as part of their COVID-19 response. 

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Table of contents

Monitoring Employee Health At Work Creates New Compliance Challenges  
Employee Health Tracking Is On The Rise Following COVID-19
Businesses Are Starting To Capture Data On Visitor Health Before Building Entry
National Governments Are Stepping Up Health Surveillance Of Citizens
How To Monitor Worker Health In Compliance With Data Privacy Law  
Businesses In China Have The Strongest Powers To Capture Data On Employee Health
In A Pandemic, Businesses In The US Can Take Employee Temperature, But Should Avoid Naming Staff With COVID-19 Infections 
In Europe, Businesses Can Generally Ask Employees If They Have COVID-19 Symptoms 
Three Smart Health Monitoring Strategies Businesses Should Consider    

Table of figures

Figure 1-1. Laws Impacting Employee Health Monitoring By Region
Figure 1-2. Laws Impacting Employee Health Monitoring By Region 

About the authors

Dayann Charles Jeyamohan

Industry Analyst
Dayann is an Industry Analyst in the Verdantix Smart Buildings practice. His current research agenda covers maintenance management, IoT solutions for buildings and the digitization of the facilities management industry. Dayann joined Verdantix in early 2020, having previously worked as a Business and Technology Consultant at IBM. He holds an M.Eng. in Engineering (Mechanical) with Business Finance from University College London. 

Susan Clarke

Research Director

Susan leads the Verdantix Smart Buildings practice. Her current research agenda focuses on software solutions for real estate management including integrated workplace management systems and IoT platforms for buildings. Her research expertise also includes a broad range of energy management technologies and energy services. Susan has eight years of experience in technology research. She holds a MSc from the University of London in Sustainable Development.

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