HR practitioners in Europe, America and Australia are now in the process of formulating HR policies on the Covid-19 vaccine. The decisions they face are whether or not to:
1. Insist that employees be vaccinated i.e. to make it mandatory for all employees to be vaccinated,
2. Recruit only those overseas and local candidates who have been vaccinated,
3. Take some form of action if an employee refuses to be vaccinated, and,
4. Provide incentives to employees who opt for vaccination.
There are legal implications associated with the above decisions which are related to the employer's duty of care.
The presumption is that an employer must provide a safe and healthy work environment for all employees.
And if an employee were to fall sick due to Covid-19 while they were at work, the company could be held legally liable if they breached their duty of care.
Some of the other challenges include planning workforce vaccinations and counselling those who are sceptical about the vaccines.
A vaccine policy is imminent. The question is whether HR professionals here will take the initiative or wait.