Employers Require Covid-19 Vaccines? A viable, effective, widely distributed vaccine for Kovid-19 may soon become a reality. At best, it has the potential to erase this epidemic and usher in exchange for some glimpse of normality.
Managers who have spent the last nine months adapting to their “remote” teams are now facing a new set of uncertainties. Will this vaccine end the epidemic? Will the business resume as usual? Is “withdrawal” also a common goal? Should the offices be reopened? Not just from a health perspective, but generally, are offices really a good investment? If yes, what should be the company’s vaccine policy?
For managers who Tax Intending to reopen offices near the medium term, there are several things to consider when building a company-wide policy. Should you optimize for security? If so, is a mandatory policy the best bet? Should you fire employees who refuse vaccinations? Are there legal implications for doing so? Should you adapt to freedom and choice? If yes, should you let the employees who were removed from office come into the office? Should you leave out those who do not want to be vaccinated forever? Do unconstitutional employees also have a risk for immunity?
There are several variables to consider – each with potential company-breaking results. A policy that kills people is a dangerous risk to the lives of your employees and your company. And a policy that alienates those who value their personal freedom can lead to class-action lawsuits that may cripple your business.
With so much at stake, it is important to create a framework for the formulation of a policy that can be clearly understood and embraced. Here are four pieces of advice that every manager should consider as they chart the course of their company’s office reunions and vaccinations.
Start planning now
With many vaccines on the horizon in early 2021, it is not too early to plan. Assess your employee population to understand what their values, concerns and needs are. Knowing what really matters to them will help you communicate your policies in the most effective ways. Separate the non-negotiators from the conversation so that employees understand their choice. The non-negotiator may include instructions for protection and avoid political discussion about pros and cons. Negotiations may include the option of working from home for a fixed period.
Build trust by example
If you encourage or order that employees take a vaccine, it is imperative that you lead by example. Pictures and videos can speak volumes, and help you destroy and humanize what you are asking your employees. Taking the vaccine openly, on camera, and showing your employees that you are happy for the “first one on the dance floor” is a must. You can’t ask people to do something you wouldn’t do yourself, and therefore you have to be transparent and public about your personal decision to do so, especially given that this decision is our highly social and political How controversial the environment has become.
There are no easy ways forward. Whether you ignore the vaccine, make it optional, encourage it, or make it mandatory, you have a large number of employees who disagree – and the likelihood of disagreement will not be slight. Be very prepared for accommodation requests. If you don’t make it mandatory, insist on working remotely from multiple employees forever. If you make it mandatory, expect employees who claim that it is a civil rights issue. Train your HR staff to process these requests, and now decide in advance what your policies are as they come in. Your vaccine policy responses are predictable, and it is important that you map them now and train your employees how to respond to them.
Related: Health Secretary Alex Azar Says All Americans Who Want A Vaccine…
Understand the law, and consult with your lawyers
Things are changing rapidly, so know the laws, understand them, and of course consult your lawyers. Just because you think a particular policy is “right” does not make lawsuits legal or immune. And, even if your chosen policy is absolutely legal, it does not mean that you will not sue. Lawsuits are expensive even if you prevail, and the last thing you need is employees who disagree with you by hiring lawyers and coming after your company. It is a legal minefield, and when you build a policy rather than road after a selected policy backpires, it is best to spend some money.
We are going into the area unchanged. From a legal, health, social and financial point of view, there is no precedent for decisions that business leaders are about to face. The final piece of advice I will tell you again – which I am sharing with all my clients – is to plan now and consult with your board, staff, staff, consultants and lawyers. Whichever path you choose will forever affect your company’s culture, and you cannot “overrule” this decision. There are plenty of options that are made with the best speed; This is not one of them.
Related: Modern vaccine guarantees up to three months of vaccine …