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A shot in the arm

COVID-19 vaccine highlights human capital considerations

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COVID 19 Coronavirus

March 17, 2021

Organizations have an opportunity to accelerate public health and define a new normal based in safety, agility and equity.

The COVID-19 vaccine is a powerful weapon in our battle against the Coronavirus pandemic. This guide outlines critical actions employers can take now, while remaining agile as vaccine availability increases.

  1. 01

    Accelerate public health

    Organizations have an opportunity to lead the way toward vaccination and recovery by focusing on safety, agility and equity

Ensure proper access and coverage
  • Utilize public vaccination sites which have access to currently available vaccine stock
  • Ensure any vaccine-administration fees are covered by medical and pharmacy plans
  • Cover all available vaccines, regardless of brand
  • Offer two to four hours of paid time off for employees to get vaccinated and allow scheduling flexibility for second shots
Develop a communication strategy that delivers empathy, support and clarity
  • Emphasize that health and safety of employees remains the top priority
  • Focus on the data to promote vaccine education and acceptance
  • Demonstrate how vaccination can protect physical and mental wellbeing
Distribute broad and targeted messages to reach all employees
  • Clearly communicate the organization’s protocol on the vaccine
  • Use a multi-channel outreach approach to reach and support a diverse workforce
  • Consider tailored messages for different work scenarios and population segments
  • Leverage the workplace social network to normalize vaccine acceptance
  • Encourage leadership to set an example by getting vaccinated themselves when they are eligible, and committing to vaccination now
  1. 02

    Update human capital strategies

Identifying, prioritizing and reimagining work and total rewards
  • Protecting employee safety and maintaining productivity and flexibility
  • Implementing productive work environments both remotely and in the physical workplace
  • Developing more flexible pay, benefits and career programs that vary based on types of work and specific skills
Addressing the health, safety and wellbeing of employees in new and different ways to achieve greater resilience
  • Reimagining flexible work strategies and redefining work-life balance
  • Increasing employee choice in benefits selection and utilization
  • Improving access to care through multimodal delivery options
Redefining fairness through modernized approaches to diversity, equity and inclusion
  • Listening to employees regularly and delivering actionable responses
  • Meeting people where they are by asking what they need and showing up in the moments that matter
  • Providing choice and personalization in work arrangements and total rewards
  1. 03

    Mitigate risk

    The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has provided vaccine-related guidance for employers, but organizations must consider the full spectrum of potential legal implications.

Ensure all policies comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, Title VII, and other relevant Equal Employment Opportunity laws

Consider potential religious and disability discrimination claims and invasion of privacy risks if personal and/or medical information is collected

Beware of disparate impact claims if policies adversely affect a protected class

Be mindful of state privacy laws when sharing employee data with the public health authorities

When offering incentives, ensure that everyone has an equal opportunity to participate and earn the reward

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