Plan to mandate

One in four organisations plan to insist on Covid vaccination for employees.

A survey from HRLocker suggests thousands of employees may be required to get the Covid-19 vaccination if they wish to return to the workplace. A survey of 750 executives, conducted by HR SaaS company HRLocker found almost a quarter (23 per cent) of employers are planning to mandate vaccination for their staff.

A further 51 per cent of employers stated that they would encourage employees to get vaccinated but not require it, while 12 per cent expressed that they were undecided. Measures of encouragement include providing resources on where and how to get vaccinated (40 per cent), internal comms to promote the benefits of vaccination (37 per cent), subsidising the cost of vaccination (20 per cent) and facilitating walk-in clinics (15 per cent).

However, the report revealed that those who decline to be vaccinated may encounter greater employment challenges. 40 per cent of respondents stated that they would be willing to dismiss an employee who refused to be vaccinated without a reasonable excuse. Meanwhile, almost half (49 per cent) of executives affirmed that, all things being equal, they would hire a candidate who has been vaccinated over one who has not.

The survey results suggest that employers have found themselves between a rock and a hard place, where they are likely to suffer some negative fallout, whether they choose to mandate Covid-19 vaccination or not. The greatest perceived risk of either option is legal claims. Employers worry that, should they mandate vaccination, it could lead to claims from employees for discrimination, unfair dismissal and adverse reactions. While not mandating could lead to claims for failing to fulfil their duty of care to employees in the workplace.

Asked with whom the decision to vaccinate against Covid-19 should sit, an overwhelming majority of 73 per cent suggested it should rest with the individual/ employee, 15 per cent felt the employer should decide, and 12 per cent believe it should be a Government decision.

In response to client demand, HRLocker has launched a vaccine tracker to its platform to help them monitor who has been jabbed, who’s exempt and who remains unvaccinated. This has already been installed by more than 200 companies.

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