COVID-19 continues to surprise the world with super variants and sudden spikes, and employers are weighing their options in the quest to strengthen health and safety at work.
With government mandates, courtroom challenges, and charged emotional responses, you’ll have to tread intelligently. Data will play a significant role in complying with mandates, informing decisions about office openings and in-person events, and generally keeping workers safe.
Maintaining Health and Safety at Work through Clashing Mandates
While the Biden administration’s vaccine mandate was struck down, many organizations like McDonald’s, American Express, Delta Airlines, General Electric, and more have instituted their own set of COVID policies aimed at workplace safety.
Even though federal mandates did not stick, there are plenty of state and local regulations that must be considered. The key is to build in flexibility that will allow you to easily adjust to new mandates and requirements.
Employee Trust is Key to Vaccination Tracking
While there continue to be divergent views and emotions around COVID-19 inoculation, 54% of employees are “very willing” to provide proof of vaccination to work on site. Employees also are generally willing to comply with other public-safety measures like wearing masks. They are, however, less willing to wear contract-tracing devices, use contact-tracing apps, or share travel history.
The sticking point appears to center around maintaining boundaries between work life and personal life – and protecting data privacy is critical. Employers requiring employees to submit their vaccination status must reassure workers that their vaccination information will be securely guarded and not used to discriminate or show favoritism.
Vaccination status tracking is permissible under federal law, and it should be treated the same as any other employee medical record: confidentially. This will also safeguard you against opposing state laws, like Montana’s, which prohibits employers from requiring employees to disclose their vaccination status.
Vaccination-tracking software can bridge the privacy needs of employees and the tracking needs of organizations to prioritize health and safety at work. Employees can upload proof of vaccination or testing status via a secure portal. The system can send automatic alerts when it’s time for another shot or test. And if mandates and requirements change, you can instantly make updates.
Three Things to Look for in Vaccination-Tracking Software
To be successful on the long road ahead, you’ll want a solution that can adapt to the ebb and flow of the pandemic—and any variants or viruses that may pop up in the future. Look for a solution that can respond to all sides of the vaccination equation:
- For employees, this means a secure way to upload proof of immunization and test results, and get automatic notifications.
- For organizations, the solution should provide up-to-the minute insights, easy reporting, and instant updating capabilities, so you can quickly pivot return-to-workplace plans and reconfigure workspaces as necessary to meet health and safety protocols.
- For compliance, look for a solution that helps you automatically keep up with regulatory changes while maintaining HIPPA and SOC2 compliance.
Vaccination-tracking software can record the vaccination and testing status of employees, visitors, and vendors—securely and compliantly. Individuals upload vaccine documentation via a secure portal, and the software automatically alerts the users when it’s time for a second shot, booster, or COVID-19 test. Employers have the information they need to keep workplaces safe and the ability to adjust to whatever regulatory changes come their way.
The demands for health and safety at work will continue to be an important issue for the foreseeable future. Federal and state entities continue to “throw spaghetti at the wall,” leaving businesses waiting around to see what sticks. Meantime, employees want their employers to lead the way in protecting their health and safety at work, but within strict limits.
The pandemic may continue for quite some time. Settle in for the long road ahead of changing mandates and shifting personal choice by putting in the tools and processes to future-proof your organization as conditions evolve.