According to a new survey from ASE in Troy, Michigan’s largest employer association, a majority of state businesses will not require their workers to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.
The ASE COVID-19 Business Impact Survey, undertaken on Feb. 3, 2021, assessed employers’ plans around COVID-19 vaccination, return-to-work, and the business impact of the pandemic.
Specific highlights from the COVID-19 Business Impact Survey include the following:
- Among the 165 employers surveyed, just one organization indicated that it will require employees to receive a COVID-19 vaccine. Slightly more than 60 percent indicated they will encourage employees to receive the vaccine. Nearly 40 percent have no formal plans to encourage or mandate their employees receive the vaccine.
- Of the employers who plan to take formal steps to encourage employees to receive the vaccine, most (80.2 percent) cited plans to use existing communication tools to provide education around the vaccine. Nearly 70 percent suggested that they will leverage communication from organizational leadership to encourage vaccination.
- Fewer than 20 percent of those surveyed will provide paid time off to get a vaccine and just 4 percent will provide some form of incentive (i.e., cash or non-cash).
- Given the protracted spread of the virus, 19 percent of employers have set a specific date for a return-to-work.
- The pandemic will likely have a lasting impact on remote work. Nearly 30 percent of those surveyed indicated they will have more employees working remotely in the future because of the pandemic.
- More than 52 percent report that some staff will work remotely on a regular full-time basis after the pandemic if their job allows it.
- Nearly 20 percent of organizations surveyed report that they’ve reduced hiring within the last three months. Another 8.5 percent are considering hiring reductions.
- The largest cost cutting measure appears to be a reduction in corporate travel (73.3 percent). Nearly 30 percent have cut training budgets.
As COVID-19 vaccines begin to roll out, employers are now considering what their role will be in the U.S. immunization strategy. According to the survey, few employers are taking the step to mandate the vaccine as a condition of employment or a return to work.
“We typically see vaccine mandates in specific industries, so we are not surprised by these results,” says Mary E. Corrado, president and CEO of ASE. “That said, employers can still play a role in ensuring employees are informed about their options.”
For employer resources on handling the COVID-19 pandemic and for daily updates, visit here. The complete survey report is also available.