Within the European Union some countries, like France, Italy or Austria, introduced the so-called ‚green pass rule‘ for accessing the workplace. The mandatory health certificate proves that the employee is either vaccinated, tested or recovered in the last six months. Otherwise, access to the workplace is not granted and workers could be suspended or denied payment by the employer. The US takes on a similar approach. Joe Biden announced a vaccine mandate in the US from the 4th of January 2022. Employees need to be either vaccinated or require to present a negative test result once a week. The mandate was frozen by the US Court for now. Other countries may also feel the need to implement stricter rules at the workplace, since many Corona clusters happen at work.
The immediate effect for employers is quite obvious. If the government decides on a green pass rule or vaccine mandate, it becomes the employers responsibility to ensure those access restrictions are met. So some kind of controlling mechanism needs to be installed. This usually is organized via the HR department, provided the employer has one. The required resources will either produce overtime with affected employees or delay other tasks that have to stand back. The higher workload is met with potential less motivation of the employees. First reactions in Italy show that more employees tend to call in sick if such rules are implemented. This means a short-term drop of personnel could be a consequence.
Create a plan of action Even if it is currently not certain, whether your government will implement a green pass rule or a vaccine mandate, it is better to be safe than sorry. Think about which employees you need to successfully implement a strategic plan for workplace access. Get them together on a table and draft a plan in case you need it. Then you won’t lose time, when potentially fast implementation needs to take place.
Boost motivation of employees If your employees feel safe and respected with you right now, they will not let you down if rules get stricter. Employer branding should always be a priority but especially now, keeping the motivation of your employees up, is crucial for success and potentially for survival. We are not talking monetary incentives though. Rather, make sure that the work environment feels safe and that your employees feel a sense of belonging and team spirit. Because together you can!
Offer alternatives No one likes to be forced to do something. Forcing your employees to get vaccinated is a very drastic interference with their health and their right to decide for themselves. It most likely will not only make them uncomfortable but also you. Providing other opinions is a win for you as an employer because it will strengthen the loyalty of your employees. An alternative could be home office options - where applicable. Depending on your business other individual solutions might make sense. Think about them and also how to best execute them when needed.
Top up your HR resources Sadly the pandemic looks like a new constant in our lives, at least for now. This brings new challenges to your HR department or to the employee currently taking on HR topics. Having an experienced support at the tip of your fingers can help you overcome shortage in HR resources and gain best practice tips from experts who deal with Covid related HR issues every day. You don’t have enough tasks to hire someone long-term? Ever thought of working together with a HR freelancer? Get in touch with our team today and meet your perfect match within 24 hours.
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