Millions of COVID-19 vaccine doses have already been given. As time goes on and the 2020 COVID-19 Pandemic becomes history, it seems likely that the COVID-19 vaccine will become a part of our regular lives in some way.
At the time of this writing in 2021, however, employers are asking pertinent questions about their role in this initial surge of vaccinations. Questions such as:
This post will highlight issues related to these kinds of questions and offer some basic strategies for supporting COVID-19 vaccinations among your employees.
Mandates, Incentives & On-Site Vaccination Programs
Employers can incentivize COVID-19 vaccines in various ways and even mandate them in certain situations. Employers can also choose to provide vaccines to employees on-site.
However, it is vital to evaluate these approaches carefully if your business or organization is considering them.
Aside from the challenges posed by simply developing and implementing such approaches, keep in mind that policies and programs like these would require compliance with numerous regulations, such as the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA), and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). They would also be in the purview of regulatory bodies from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).
Here are three basic scenarios that should serve to highlight the possible complexity involved:
Scenario 1: Vaccine Mandate
A company requires its employees to be vaccinated. Upon hearing the news:
All of these employees have legitimate concerns that would need to be addressed by the employer in the mandate policy they put in place.
Scenario 2: Vaccine Incentive
An organization offers an incentive as part of its wellness program to employees who choose to get vaccinated. However:
Once again, these are valid concerns to consider before enacting a vaccine incentive program.
Scenario 3: Vaccinate On-Site
A local business holds a COVID-19 vaccination clinic on-site. Afterwards, the following issues arise:
As with the first two scenarios, these are also all possible concerns.
Overall Support Strategy
As stated above, your primary strategy when it comes to supporting COVID-19 vaccinations among your employees should be to exercise care when considering policies and programs regarding a mandate, incentive or on-site vaccination program. Your legal and human resource teams should be involved in this complex decision.
Even if you don’t take one of these approaches, keep these other basic support strategies in mind:
Making the Complex Simple
Employers want to support their employees when it comes to COVID-19 vaccinations. We hope this post has brought some of the related issues to light and given you some helpful strategies.
If you’d like to speak to a risk advisor more about this or any other topic related to COVID-19, please contact us.
Saginaw Bay Underwriters has made every attempt to ensure this information has been obtained from reliable sources. Image via Shutterstock. Current as of: February 2021