Google, Facebook will require returning office staff to be fully vaccinated

Implementation of the policies will vary according to local conditions, the firms have said

Google and Facebook have announced that employees in the US will need to be fully vaccinated before they return to the office.

Google CEO Sundar Pichai said in an email to employees on Wednesday that the implementation of the policy “will vary according to local conditions and regulations” and will not apply until vaccines are widely available in an employee’s region.

“We’re rolling this policy out in the U.S. in the coming weeks and will expand to other regions in the coming months,” he said.

A spokesperson for Google told IT Pro that there’s no specific information for when this policy will apply to UK or EMEA employees.

Similarly, Facebook has announced that anyone coming to work at its US campuses must also be fully vaccinated.

“How we implement this policy will depend on local conditions and regulations,” said Lori Goler, Facebook’s vice president of People. “We will have a process for those who cannot be vaccinated for medical or other reasons and will be evaluating our approach in other regions as the situation evolves.”

Twitter, which opened its offices in New York and San Francisco two weeks ago, has decided to close them again following a recent update from the CDC.

“After careful consideration of the CDC's updated guidelines, and in light of current conditions, Twitter has made the decision to close our opened offices in New York and San Francisco as well as pause future office reopenings, effective immediately,” a spokesperson told IT Pro. “We’re continuing to closely monitor local conditions and make necessary changes that prioritize the health and safety of our Tweeps.”

Furthermore, Google announced that it would extend its global voluntary work-from-home policy to October 18, as employees were originally scheduled to return on September 1. Google has also said it would let employees know at least 30 days in advance before transitioning into its full return to office plans.

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Last year, Google said that employees could work from home until January 2021, before pushing it to July 2021, which then changed to September 2021 as it delayed the return to the office again. When employees return, they will have a “flexible workweek” which involves coming into the office three days a week under a pilot plan.

Facebook also previously stated that employees they could work from home until July 2021 and it would give staff $1,000 towards any home office equipment they needed. However, more recently, the company said that it will let employees who can work away from the office do so after the pandemic is over, as reported by the BBC.

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