Many countries across the globe have launched their vaccination programs to contain the spread of Covid-19, with the government typically mandated a list of priority groups to decide who will get the jabs early. For the first time since the pandemic began, there is now hope for a brighter future with mass vaccination, said OECD in its report.
With a glimmer of hope that life will come back to normalcy, how do both employers and employees really say about vaccination?
In a recent survey commissioned by HR tech firm HRLocker, nearly 1 in 4 executives in the U.K. and Ireland said they are planning to make vaccination compulsory for their staff before returning to the workplace. While half of the respondents said they wouldn’t make vaccination an official requirement, they would highly encourage their workers to get the shots. They would do this by providing information on where and how to receive the vaccine, leveraging internal communications to promote its benefits and facilitating walk-in clinics. Meanwhile, another 12% of respondents said they hadn’t decided on their policy regarding this matter yet.
Some countries make vaccination voluntary but in the future, getting vaccinated or not could potentially a worker’s employment opportunities. In the survey, 40 percent of leaders said they would dismiss an employee who refused to get the vaccine and 49 percent said they would hire a vaccinated person over someone who had not received it.
Employers are realising that making workplace vaccination policies could arise some legal consequences. By enforcing vaccinations, companies are worried they could face claims of discrimination, unfair dismissal, and adverse reactions. Choosing to make the vaccine optional, however, is making them worry about failing to fulfil their duty of care in the workplace.
The survey also asked the companies who the decision to vaccinate against Covid-19 should depend on. Almost three-quarters agreed it should depend on the individual’s willingness, while 15 percent said the employer should clearly decide and another 12 percent said it should be up to the Government.
Whatever route companies decide on, HRLocker suggested an emphasis on clear communication about vaccination policies. “Last year, much of the focus was placed on introducing systems and processes to enable business continuity. Now, as employers, I think we need to start placing people at the centre of our strategies and decision making. That starts with clear and open communication ” said HRLocker’s CEO, Adam Coleman.