After COVID-19 wreaked havoc on many businesses and the world last year, employers are trying to identify what the next steps are in terms of returning to normal. Because it is uncharted territory, many employers are wondering if and how they can mandate the COVID-19 vaccine among their workers.
Can You Mandate the Vaccine?
In short, yes. Any employer can mandate a vaccine as long as there is a direct threat to other employees because it can be easily transmitted in the workplace in question. However, every vaccine policy needs to have exceptions.
Employers do not have to accommodate any medical or secular beliefs surrounding vaccinations. They do have to make policy exceptions for individuals who are disabled. There also needs to be accommodations made for individuals whose religious beliefs do not allow vaccines or medicine. In the end, it is best for your policy to encourage the vaccine but not necessarily require it.
Necessity Will Vary Between Industries
Industries that have workers at risk in their job on a daily basis will have more of a need for vaccine policies. People in the medical field, travel, or work in retail, are more in need of the vaccine than others who don’t come into contact with the public.
If your business is located in an office setting, in many cases, it will be easier to take a personal choice stance on the COVID vaccine. It should still be something that the employer encourages, however.
Liabilities for Unvaccinated Employees
There are a number of risks and liabilities you may face as an employer if there is no vaccine policy put in place. In some cases, a valued employee may decide to leave the company because of the organization’s vaccination policy or lack thereof. This can ultimately lead to lost productivity and poor brand image.
Some employees may also consider not taking a stance on the vaccine a safety hazard. While it would be unprecedented, mandatory vaccine requirements for people returning to the workplace would prevent the employer from being at fault if someone fell ill.
Staffing Solutions During the Pandemic
One thing that has changed a lot for employers during the COVID-19 pandemic is how they have to think about sourcing members of their staff. Companies have to think about having additional staff on hand in case of a long-term absence. This may be in the form of contract workers or part-time staff. You may also find you need to alter your recruiting strategy altogether to address new, changing needs within the company.
If COVID vaccines and protocol are important to your business, make that known in job postings and interviews. Let it be known that part of your company culture includes health and safety precautions, like this. Doing this can drive like-minded employees to apply for any open positions.
Having the right staff on your side is half the battle. Contact us at the Staffing Resource Group to see how our team of professionals can assist your recruitment efforts.