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Google’s big warning to staff about vaccine mandate

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Google is getting tough on it’s employees who haven’t been vaccinated against COVID

Google has told its employees they will lose pay and eventually be fired if they do not follow its COVID-19 vaccination rules.

A memo circulated by Google’s leadership team stated that employees had until December 3 to declare their vaccination status and upload documentation showing proof. The tech giant stated that after that date, employees would be contacted by management for a ‘please explain’ – with those who have applied for an exemption also to expect a call if their exemption request was denied.

The document said employees who haven’t complied with the vaccination rules by the Jan. 18 deadline will be placed on “paid administrative leave” for 30 days. After that, the company will put them on “unpaid personal leave” for up to six months, followed by termination.

Google is one of many big companies to enforce COVID mandates.

FILE PHOTO: A vial of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine is seen at a clinic in Aschaffenburg, Germany, January 15, 2021. REUTERS/Kai Pfaffenbach/File PhotO/File Photo

Biden’s mandate on COVID vaccinations

President Joe Biden’s administration has ordered U.S. companies with 100 or more workers to ensure their employees are fully vaccinated or regularly tested for Covid-19 by January 18.

A federal court issued a stay on the order back in early November, putting a halt to the administration’s efforts.

Still, Google asked its more than 150,000 employees to upload their vaccination status to its internal systems, whether they plan to come into the office or not, and the company indicated that it plans to follow Biden’s order.

Anthony Lucas is reporter, presenter and social media producer with ticker News. Anthony holds a Bachelor of Professional Communication, with a major in Journalism from RMIT University as well as a Diploma of Arts and Entertainment journalism from Collarts. He’s previously worked for 9 News, ONE FM Radio and Southern Cross Austerio’s Hit Radio Network. 

Business

Four-day office week for Snapchat employees

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Snapchat is asking workers to return to the office 80% of the time, or the equivalent of four days a week.

They want workers back from the start of next year.

It’s the latest sign of tech employees receiving less flexibility nearly three years after the pandemic took hold.

It also comes amid a wave of cost-cutting in the tech sector.

The company says in a statement: “We believe that being together in person, while retaining flexibility for our team members, will enhance our ability to deliver on our strategic priorities of growing our community, driving revenue growth, and leading in [augmented reality].”

The new policy will take effect at the end of February.

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Twitter quietly cancels COVID misinformation policy

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More big changes at Twitter under the new Elon Musk ownership.

This time, its Twitter’s controversial COVID misinformation policy, which the social platform has quietly canceled.

Twitter said in December 2020 that it would begin to label and remove misinformation about Covid-19 vaccines.

But Twitter CEO Elon Musk has been a vocal critic of how health officials reacted to the coronavirus pandemic.

Musk has committed to free speech on Twitter, which might explain why the change has now been enacted.

But online safety experts have contended his approach has led to an increase in hate speech, harassment and misinformation on the platform.

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Tech

Hospital staff have resorted to using pen and paper following cyber breach

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Vanuatu’s public service remains offline nearly a month after a ransomware attack on the nation’s government.

The ABC reports hospital staff have resorted to using pen and paper, as key infrastructure remains offline.

Senior ministers describing the incident as a “serious breach” of national security.

Cybersecurity staff were told about the attack when government websites became unavailable.

Port Vila’s hospital has also been badly affected, with staff using pen and paper for some medical records.

It’s understood some government employees are using their personal email addresses and hotspots to complete their work.

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