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As well as the athletes descending on Rio for the Olympic and Paralympic games, many people are travelling there to work over the coming weeks. Ed Stacey examines whether or not employees can be forced to work in Brazil in light of the Zika virus.
The World Health Organisation has declared a public health emergency in relation to the Zika virus. It has warned that Zika, which is spread by mosquitoes, can cause microcephaly in the babies of expectant mothers, and Guillain-Barré syndrome, a serious condition of the nervous system.
Sadly, in Brazil, there is a Zika epidemic. So, with the Rio Olympics underway, world-class athletes have had to decide whether or not to take the risk of contracting Zika in order to compete.
They are not alone. Many employees have also been asked to travel to Brazil to work during the Olympics, and they have had a similar decision to make.
Which begs the question, can employees be forced to travel to Brazil for the Olympics, under English law? The answer, usually, is no…
Many employment contracts contain mobility clauses, which state that employees can be made to work in any location their employer chooses. However, the courts interpret mobility clauses in a way which limits employer power as much as possible.
This means that, unless an employ