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How can employers leverage HR tech to ensure employees return to the workplace safely?


  • Employers have a role to play in the COVID-19 vaccine roll-out
  • How can COVID-19 vaccine management solutions support employers assess the vaccination status of their staff and make business decisions accordingly?

COVID-19 vaccines are the main exit strategy out of the pandemic. To date, almost 500 million Covid-19 vaccine doses have been administered worldwide with the US, the UK, and Israel leading the way, according to a New York Times tracker.  

Although the world is far from out of the COVID-19 woods yet — especially given recent news about vaccine supply issues — discussions are starting to happen about the role that employers could play in the global vaccination rollout.  


One option being discussed is whether companies should require their employees to be vaccinated before they can return to the workplace.  

survey by the UK’s Chartered Management Institute found that over half of the 1,000 people surveyed thought that COVID-19 vaccinations should be required for staff to return to work. 

There was also significant concern about navigating the potential conflict between those employees who are reluctant about being inoculated and others who feel unsafe working alongside unvaccinated colleagues.  

However, there are multiple legal issues regarding implementing mandatory vaccination policies. For instance, if a company wanted to implement this for its existing employees, it would need to change all of their contracts and get them to resign.  

As a result, even UK-based Pimlico Plumbers, which is one of the early advocates of mandatory vaccinations, has declared its policy will only be for new hires, not existing employees.  


On the other side of the Atlantic, JP Morgan CEO Jamie Dillon believes that a carrot and stick approach to COVID-19 vaccination is a better.

To this end, JP Morgan — and several other large banks including Bank of America — are giving their employees extra holiday days to get their jabs.

According to Reuters, Bank of America stated its staff would be able to take two half days because most of the approved vaccines require two doses spaced at least a month apart, while JP Morgan said its employees would be eligible to eight hours paid time off to be vaccinated.  

Budget supermarket chains are also jumping on this incentive bandwagon. Lidl is offering its US employees $200 extra pay if they receive the vaccine; the payment aims to offset other costs associated with being vaccinated, including travel costs.

Whereas Aldi has said it will provide its hourly US workers with two hours of pay for each vaccine dose they receive, meaning they will essentially receive four hours of paid time off to be vaccinated. UK retailer John Lewis has also announced it will offer full pay to those who take time off work to be vaccinated, as well as encouraging its staff to volunteer to vaccinate others. 

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