Updated September 13, 2021. First published February 8, 2021
As of September 2021, over 50% of the total US population have been fully vaccinated to protect against COVID-19. However, with the Delta variant and other covid variants spreading, organizations that are considering adopting a hybrid work style or returning to the office in the future, will still need to develop a vaccination plan.
Below are some best practices to help organizations formulate a robust and inclusive vaccination plan:
Educate your employees: Provide information about vaccinations and where to get the vaccine in the community. While acknowledging and promoting the efficacy of vaccines, it is also important to mention the side effects of the vaccines as well to assist employees to make their decisions.
Collaborate with internal or external teams: Employers should work together with internal HR or the facility department (if any) and with external teams such as the building management to ensure compliance consistency across the board.
Establish flexible time off policies: Although the booster shot is still being evaluated and examined by CDC and FDA, the flexible time-off policy will help facilitate the process if the booster shot is approved.
Make necessary accommodations: Whether or not your organization decide to require a vaccine before returning to work, provide accommodations such as telecommuting, leave under applicable laws, and/or for those who claim medical or religious exemptions, when/where appropriate.
Proof of Vaccination: Employers may request employees to present proof that they are fully vaccinated. However, it is important to keep such information in a private and secure place.
Keep an eye on the federal and state policies: Employers considering to implement a workplace vaccination program should also use guidance from experts from public health institutions and/or local pharmacies.
President Biden recently introduced a mandate requiring employers with over 100 employees to ensure their workforces are fully vaccinated or show a negative test at least once a week. While this mandate is being implemented (and contested), employers should be ready to have these conversations and/or make the appropriate workplace adjustments/communications.
As each organization is different, they may have different approaches when designing a vaccination strategy. Nevertheless, it is best to take into consideration of both internal and external factors when designing an inclusive and accommodating policy for all employees.
Please see below for additional resources and contact Kiwi Partners' HR Services if you have any additional questions or need assistance with workplace planning.
Schedule vaccination appointment in New York State https://am-i-eligible.covid19vaccine.health.ny.gov/
Schedule vaccination appointment in New York City https://vaccinefinder.nyc.gov/