Getting ahead of the COVID-19 vaccination rollout with a policy grounded in consistency, necessity and privacy is the way to start. Last week, Jacqueline Breslin, Director of HR and Compliance Services at TriNet, took us on a deep dive into what businesses need to know to keep up with the changing HR landscape in 2021 and beyond.
“Get ready now so when the vaccine is widely available, you’re not making a decision in the heat of the moment because that is not when our best business decisions are made.” – Jacqueline Breslin, Director of HR and Compliance Services at TriNet
Next, make sure to narrow down the proof of the vaccine to only the essential information (name, dates, vaccine confirmation). Keep in mind to tread lightly around the “at will” employee/employer relationship if the vaccine is refused.
This is a moment to have an interactive conversation. Be empathetic and understand the employee’s point of view. There are many reasons an individual would refuse the vaccine.
“Seek legal counsel. This topic is fluid, there are a lot of questions, and employee rights will be important as we learn more about what employers can and can’t do.” – Jacqueline Breslin, Director of HR and Compliance Services at TriNet
“Requesting proof that an employee has been vaccinated against COVID-19 should not typically provide you with any information about an employee’s disability therefore it is not a disability inquiry and is ok to ask.” – Jacqueline Breslin, Director of HR and Compliance Services at TriNet
Lastly, most businesses are unsure about offering an incentive to increase adoption of the COVID-19 vaccine. But, among employees, the most popular incentives are reimbursement, cash incentives, and paid time off.
Jacqueline cautions to think through your policy, especially if you have hourly employees – make sure you are complying with wage and hour laws and paying them appropriately.
“This is an evolving topic. Take it step by step, make independent decisions and then be ready to change those decisions as things evolve on this topic.” – Jacqueline Breslin, Director of HR and Compliance Services at TriNet
Want more? Click HERE to watch the full interview on the HR Implications of the COVID-19 Vaccine with Jacqueline Breslin. It’s juicy!
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