Can employers make vaccines mandatory in a pandemic and how will HR handle this?
With a vaccine for COVID-19 about to be rolled-out, many employers are starting to think about the vaccine policies their businesses may need to deploy.
HR leaders need to be able to ensure the safety of all employees and stay up to date on any changes during this global pandemic. Remote work has been a huge trend during these difficult times, but many are still working in person, or are eager to get back to work once the pandemic subsides. This means that when employees start getting back to work and a vaccine is available, employers need to start thinking about the next step.
This decision will not be easy for many employers thinking about whether or not it is even an option to make the COVID-19 vaccine mandatory, and who will be willing to get the vaccine if offered. There are so many questions left in the air which is why having an HR company that has knowledge and experience managing HR needs at a global level is vital.
The Chief Executive Officer at Stipenda, an industry leader in international PEO that specialises in helping businesses expand globally, Solomon Williams, explains the benefits of having a strong HR leader when dealing with things such as a COVID-19 vaccine within the workplace.
“A strong human resources department needs to understand the legalities of requiring employees to get a vaccine. These rules and regulations will vary across countries, so global businesses should consider working with a PEO,” said Williams.
With different rules and regulations in different countries, it can be difficult for businesses to tackle issues like a vaccine on their own. According to Williams:
- The Vaccine will be mandatory to health workers and possibly retail workers who are working consistently with the public on a day to day basis
- There will most likely be religious and medical exemptions to receiving the vaccine
- There will be employees that decide to leave their place of work if the vaccine becomes mandatory
There are a lot of things to consider when thinking about the possibility of a COVID-19 vaccine and how employers are going to be able to keep their employees safe and healthy. A viable option could be having onsite vaccine administrations to make it easier for all employees, but on the other hand, the mandate of the vaccine could have an unpopular reaction. Adapting to new changes during this global pandemic has been difficult for many companies and with a possible vaccine in the works, it is time for employers to start thinking about how they are going to handle this next obstacle.