Vaccine mandates in the workplace may become the new normal as COVID-19 cases continue to rise with the Delta variant sweeping the nation. A new national survey released by Willis Towers Watson, a multinational advisory and insurance firm, found that more than half of U.S. companies are planning to require COVID-19 vaccine mandates in the workplace by the end of the year while almost a quarter are considering vaccination as a condition for employment.
The survey polled 961 U.S. companies that collectively employ around 9.7 million people. According to the data, by the fourth quarter of 2021, 52% of employers could have one or more vaccine mandate requirements in the workplace. An impressive increase from the current 21%.
These mandates range from requiring vaccination for employees to access common areas to requiring vaccination for a subset of employees to requiring vaccination for all employees. Nearly 29% of employers are planning or considering to make vaccination a requirement to gain access to the workplace and 21% are planning or considering vaccination as a condition of employment.
“We expect even more employers to institute vaccine mandates in the wake of FDA approval of the Pfizer vaccine,” said Jeff Levin-Scherz, M.D., population health leader, told Willis Towers Watson.
Additionally, the number of employers that will track whether employees have completed their vaccination is growing. According to the survey, 59% currently track their workers’ vaccination status and 62% of those require proof of vaccination.
“The one certainty right now is that employers will continue to adjust their plans through the remainder of 2021,” said Dr. Levin-Scherz. “While some employers will institute more frequent testing, workplace restrictions on the unvaccinated, and vaccination mandates, all will have one common goal in mind — to keep their workforce healthy and productive by minimizing the risk of spreading COVID-19 in the workplace.”
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