Employers in the healthcare setting have been grappling with issues related to COVID-19 vaccinations that raise many practical and legal questions, starting with: should we ask about vaccination status? Should we require employees to be vaccinated? If not required, should we encourage employees to be vaccinated? How should we encourage it? Identifying these questions is a helpful starting point, but it may be more useful to know what is really happening in the field. Looking for answers, Jackson Lewis surveyed healthcare employers; 42 participants responded as follows:
(1) Do you plan to survey your workforce on vaccine status? 54.76% say YES.
(2) What percentage of your employees are vaccinated (or that you believe to be vaccinated)?
The highest percentage of participating employers (35.71%) believe that 60% to 79% of their workforce is vaccinated, with an estimated 40% to 59% of employees vaccinated close behind (30.95% of employers who participated in the survey).
(3) Do you require employees to be vaccinated or are you planning to do so?
Most employers surveyed (70%) mostly likely will not require vaccinations due to concerns with legal or employee relations issues. Another 18% responded they would only consider mandating vaccinations if required by law. Of the 12% who do plan to/are considering a mandate, 4% will mandate for all employees, 6% will only mandate for employees who return to the office, and the final 2% will mandate that employees who travel are vaccinated.
(4) Do you offer any incentives for employees to receive the vaccine (including financial, paid time off or other benefits)?
Last, over a third of employers who participated in the survey are offering incentives to encourage employees to become vaccinated. Another almost 10% are considering incentives. However, most employers (57.14%) responded that they are not offering or planning to offer incentives.
Please reach out to the Jackson Lewis attorney with whom you regularly work, or any member of our COVID-19 team, to learn more about how to successfully navigate vaccination issues regarding your workforce.