- What are the trends in employee vaccination policies?
The effects and after effects of the Covid-19 pandemic have been harrowing to say the least. Cases are subsiding and rising with no rhyme or reason.
For the working population, one major question hangs in the balance: when will offices resume? Well, there’s an update on the situation. While some companies have instituted a permanent remote working policy, these 10 companies have resumed office operations. But they’ve done so by implementing strict employee vaccination policies.
As a business owner, you can treat this blog as a case study. Understand how these 10 companies have gone about restarting offices in the pandemic.
- These 10 Companies Have Announced Mandatory Employee Vaccination
Recently, Pfizer received total FDA approval for their Covid-19 vaccine. Proactively, CVS (a health and pharma company) instituted a new policy that all employees be fully vaccinated as soon as possible. Notably, CVS introduced this employee vaccination policy across job roles regardless of whether the employees were working remotely.
The CVS corporate workforce and people-facing staff like nurses and carers have to be fully vaccinated by 31st October 2021 .
Their pharmacists, who don’t come in contact with end-customers directly, are second in line to receive the vaccinations. They can get themselves vaccinated by the end of November.
“While the vast majority of our employees have chosen to be vaccinated, this decision is in direct response to the dramatic rise in cases among the unvaccinated.” – Karen S. Lynch, CVS Health President and CEO.
Cigna, another healthcare and insurance MNC, soon followed CVS’s footsteps. In order to contribute to lowering the rising Covid-19 cases in the USA, Cigna now requires employee vaccination across the board.
Since September 7 2021, Cigna forbids employees to enter a US-based job site unless they are fully vaccinated.
Onsite Cigna workers had to submit to Covid-19 testing every week if they couldn’t get fully vaccinated by 18th October.
In June 2021, BlackRock, an NY-based asset portfolio management organization, mandated their employees to disclose their vaccination status. They had until the end of June 2021 to do so. This was regardless of whether they were planning to resume onsite work or not.
Then, those employees which were fully vaccinated were allowed to work from office premises.
Curiously, BlackRock employees reported that they would feel more comfortable working from office if their colleagues were all fully vaccinated.
At the end of July 2021, Sundar Pichai made an announcement, requiring campus-working employees to be fully vaccinated.
Those who were yet to get completely vaccinated had the option to continue working from home till October 2021.
In effect, this means Google will fully resume work from office by this October. Naturally, those who’re facing unprecedented issues are excepted.
NBCUniversal has taken a similar decision as Google. They’ve mandated employee vaccinations to be completed by October, so it can resume onsite operations amidst the pandemic.
Further, NBCUniversal reports that it has taken this decision to lower the rise in Delta variant Covid-19 cases.
Fully vaccinated employees had the option to resume work even before October 2021.
McDonald’s has mandated full inoculation of the corporate employees if they are to resume work from location. Employees reported they felt comfortable resuming in-person work only if their co-workers were fully vaccinated.
The official date of restarting work from location is October 11 2021. However, all corporate staff must have received all their doses by September 27th.
This allows the employee workforce to recuperate and develop immunity against the virus.
But notable, McDonald’s has excluded customer-facing staff and restaurant workers from this mandate. There is a shortage of labor workers who work at hourly rates. If such strict employee vaccine regulations are in place, McDonald’s feels it will impact the hiring.
This is a new and unfortunate insight into how the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic is affecting business and hiring.
Walmart has instituted a similar employee vaccination policy. Employees returning to work must be fully vaccinated. However, Walmart too limits this policy to white-collar roles.
On 30th July 2021, Walmart announced that associates working in multiple facilities and in company offices must be fully vaccinated. The deadline for them was October 4 2021. Exceptions are allowed in case of religious or medical reasons.
Like McDonald’s, in-store workers are not bound by this vaccination policy. However, Walmart is offering perks for those who’re opting to get vaccinated. Such employees get a $150 bonus and 3 days off post vaccination, so that employees can cope with possible side-effects. Surely a novel initiative to promote workplace immunization while also dealing with labor shortage.
- Tyson Foods
Tyson Foods required office worker vaccination to be completed by October 1st. Frontline workers were set the deadline of November 1st. Keeping up with Walmart, Tyson also provides a $200 bonus to those workers who’re choosing to get vaccinated.
“Getting vaccinated against COVID-19 is the single most effective thing we can do to protect our team members, their families, and their communities.” – Dr. Claudi Coplein, Chief Medical Officer at Tyson Foods.
- Walt Disney
In a statement in July, Walt Disney announced that all staff and non-union workers must get fully vaccinated. They had 60 days to do so. Newly starting working from office again is determinant upon employees providing proof of complete vaccination.
“Vaccines are the best tool we all have to help control this global pandemic and protect our employees,” said the statement.
- Delta Airlines
Delta Airlines has taken a different stance on employee vaccination. They’ve not mandated employee inoculation yet but they’ve implemented a stronger monetary impetus than all the above cases.
From 1st November, employees at Delta will need to prove total vaccination or pay a $200 monthly health insurance surcharge.
“The average hospital stay for COVID-19 has cost Delta $50,000 per person,” says Ed Bastian, Chief Executive at Delta Airlines. “This surcharge will be necessary to address the financial risk the decision not to vaccinate is creating for our company.”
- Deciding Employee Vaccination Policies at Your Organization
These 10 short case studies are enough to impress upon the need for vaccination as a potent tool to combat Covid-19. All of these companies took different approaches to employee vaccination, but were motivated by the same few pressing needs. To protect their employees and contribute to lower coronavirus cases.
If you are thinking of restarting work from office, you have to think about a couple of factors. First of all, is it absolutely necessary? Can you sustain work from home without major impacts to team morale or employee efficiency? If so, would it be wiser to continue this model?
At the same time, by allowing employees to work from home, are companies prompting leniency in vaccinations? While there are debates about the vaccines and their side-effects, corporations must align to the bigger picture. That of immunizing the society and the nation at large.
As business owners, you have corporate and social responsibilities. We advise keeping the best interests and safety of your employees foremost. Whatever decision you take next will be justified.
If, like some of the above cases, the pandemic has affected your talent acquisition and hiring, reach out to us. We can help you get back on the track.