Organizations achieve goals through efforts put in by highly efficient employees. Only those employees efficiently contribute to the firm who possess a healthy body, mind & an active lifestyle. But what if an organizations‘ best resource, i.e., its employees, are hit by a deadly yet infamous covid-19 virus? In such a scenario, employers across the globe are trying their best to do everything to strengthen their employees’ immunity.
Covid Vaccination = Improved Employee Immunity
Employees’ immunity = Organizations’ immunity
When it comes to fighting a rare disease, acquiring its cure is a much difficult task, which is the case for covid-19 vaccination. The entire world went crazy developing a cure for the deadly covid-19 virus in the form of a vaccine. So it‘s understandable when these vaccines are not easily handed over to the general public on their demand. When it comes to getting these vaccines, the government has set some premium rules resonating with their premium status, which an employer must be aware of.
Employer‘s challenges: Strategy to vaccinate the workforce
Employers firstly need to determine when and which employees can be vaccinated:
- Must organize vaccination committee that would assess workers who are eligible to be vaccinated as per government law.
- Set up an immunization committee that tells about the government‘s exemptions for people who can‘t be vaccinated given their heart condition or due to any previous illness. This committee can liaise with doctors and determine a list of employees who are ineligible for covid vaccination.
- Employer to chalk out a plan for the age-wise description of employees, giving priority to elderly employees to be vaccinated first, later on, sick employees with less immunity or employees with a severe medical history that needs them to be vaccinated as early as possible. At the very end young and healthy employees.
- The employer keeps a tab on government vaccination websites to map out eligibility for their state and city and in which timeframe the organization can either register to get vaccines supply or go to for vaccine center directly.
- Furthermore, once vaccinated, the organization can create a list of vaccinated employees as a contingency workforce who may be able to support the rest of the organization in any future lockdown or crisis.
The next step is to determine the source of getting that dose of vaccines for the employees. Option available to the employer to get employees vaccinated are:
- Employers may apply for special permission from the government to supply vaccines to their existing medical facility present in the office premises. The site will have to be created by government regulations to ensure minimum risk of transmission.
- Medical Charitable Trust – Employers can work with their charitable medical trust to set up vaccination centers on the office premises.
- Mobile Vaccination Clinic – Employer to request the set-up of mobile vaccination clinic within office premise.
- Community clinics open to the public.
- Government–approved temporary vaccination centers
- Government–approved private hospitals
We must take into account that an immunity–building vaccination in times of pandemic can help employees fight the illness and be a savior to the employer in keeping their workforce healthy, reducing absenteeism, and ultimately leading to higher productivity.
The Significant question that persists is whether employers should make covid vaccines mandatory for employees before joining back to the office? Employers who feel that vaccination needs to be mandated must provide certain exemptions to their employees, which might be a medical exemption for employees who are allergic to vaccine contents or religious exemptions for employees who do not take western medicines to some religious belief, etc. Enough opportunity should be provided to employees to bargain their reason with the management before making vaccination mandatory. Instead of making vaccines mandatory, the employer must encourage employees to get vaccines
Employers guide to encourage vaccination in-take amongst employees: –
- Provide Incentives and cash as a bonus for employees willing to get vaccinated
- Create a wellness program for employees and make the vaccines a part of the same wellness program.
- Employers keep post-vaccination kits ready for employees, consisting of fever medicine, headache and pain killers, a bar of chocolate, or any other gift to bring comfort to employees while fighting with post–vaccination sickness.
- Vaccine champion contest amongst employees, for whoever dares to be vaccinated and recovers back and shares their vaccination experience.
- Employees to be allowed paid leave to be vaccinated during work hours.
- Transportation facility or reimbursement scheme to commute to nearby vaccine center.
- Reimbursement of vaccine fees along with covering medical expenses incurred for treatment of post–vaccine illness.
- Give full assurity of building employee immunity even after being vaccinated by adding healthier snack options of juices and dry fruits during 3-4 months of vaccination drive.
- Global organizations can set up a sponsorship scheme for international employees to support them for covid vaccination.
- Employers to provide quarterly medical check-up post–vaccination of employee
- Set up a 24/7 medical crew to support employees of all shifts during 3-4 months of vaccination drive. Additionally organizing a visit from an expert doctor twice a month to subdue symptoms from general illness to improve employees‘ immunity.
- The employer should set up seminars from experts and doctors to help with employee query related to covid/cleanliness,/ government enabled covid specific-regulation and perks for employees,
- The employer might provide 15 days of paid quarantine leaves if the employee tested positive, only after providing documented proof of him being infected.
No matter how significantly beneficial it is to get employees vaccinated, the employer shouldn’t pressurize the employees’ vaccination. All the employer can do is motivate employees to understand the power of getting that extra dose of immunity against the fight against the immunity–killing virus. In the meantime, the situation will help us understand- whether employees being vaccinated be the next step towards workplace normalcy!
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