Vaccine policies make your expectations clear to your employees. These policies can help protect your workers and the people they work with. It helps to keep everyone safe and healthy while in the workplace.
Policies for Flu, COVID-19, and other vaccines can help your business stay secure and healthy. Drafting an employee vaccine policy may seem daunting, but with a sample vaccine policy, you can create your policy without starting from scratch.
Sample Vaccination Policy
With this sample, you can build your mandatory vaccination policy.
What is an Employee Vaccination Policy?
An employee vaccination policy is a set of rules and expectations to reduce the risk of transmitting viruses and diseases that vaccines may prevent.
The policy may require that an employee get a vaccine to secure or maintain employment.
The policy will include essential details about the employee’s vaccination status, like when the vaccination must occur and for what diseases. Other common names for employee vaccination policies include:
- Health and Vaccination Policy
- Communicable Disease Policy
- Vaccination Program Guidelines
When to Use an Employee Vaccination Policy
You should use an employee vaccination policy when you want your employees fully vaccinated for a particular disease.
Vaccination requirements or policies handle sensitive issues for many people, including privacy concerns. A policy helps to protect not only your business but your employees as well.
While any job could require vaccinations, they are ubiquitous in businesses such as:
- Hospitals and other medical care centers
- At-home care nurses
- Elderly resident homes or nursing homes
- Rehabilitation centers
- Childcare, daycare, or schools
- Food industry
- Large corporate workplaces
When hiring new employees, you may want to include a vaccination policy in an employment contract.
How to Write an Employee Vaccination Policy
Writing an employee vaccination policy can seem daunting, but it is much easier with the help of a template. It allows you to create and modify your agreement to fit your needs.
1. Define the Scope of Your Policy
You should define the scope of your policy by determining to whom it will apply, possibly including, but not limited to:
- Full-time or part-time employees
- Seasonal or hourly workers
- Contractors who visit the office space or interact with customers
- Remote workers
2. Determine What Vaccinations Will Be Required
Your company must decide what types of vaccines it will require of employees. The most common vaccine requirements are for COVID-19 and flu, but many others could be a part of the policy if you wish.
It is up to your business to decide what vaccines its employees will require.
3. Set Vaccination Timelines
The employment vaccination policy should also outline when the employee is expected to get the vaccine.
This will include hiring requirements, vaccination requirements to continue employment, and any need to keep up to date with vaccines and boosters.
4. Set Evidence Requirements
The policy should outline how the employee will prove their vaccination status to the employer. Many employers may offer vaccination through their process to create a trackable system.
Others may require the vaccination to be arranged by the employee. In such a case, there should be clear guidelines for how the employee will report their vaccination once it has occurred.
5. Set Ramifications for Failure to Follow the Agreement
You need to decide what will happen to the employee if they fail to get vaccinated. The policy should outline the possible ramifications and whether their employment status may be affected by failing to get vaccinated.
6. Create Medical and Religious Accommodations
Specific individuals may be eligible for medical or religious accommodations based on their circumstances.
The policy should identify how the employee applies for an exemption and the process to determine whether the exemption will be granted.
Tips to Consider When Enforcing an Employee Vaccination Policy
Vaccine policies are not always popular, but you also want to be able to enforce them. These tips may help you implement your policies:
- Consider vaccine confidence: New vaccines often create employee hesitancy. This problem may decrease the more extended the vaccine has been available. Allow vaccine confidence to grow before imposing a hardline vaccination date.
- Create flexibility: Create some flexibility with the time limits to prevent unfair situations from arising. For example, if an employee has been sick, they may not be eligible or healthy enough to get the vaccine immediately.
- Offer vaccination drives or services: If you offer an easy way to get the vaccine, more employees will likely get it. For many, it is the extra effort that results in non-compliance.
Why is an Employee Vaccination Policy Important?
An employee vaccination policy creates many benefits for employers. These include:
- Protecting clients, customers, and any visitors from potential illnesses
- Maintaining a healthy workforce for your business
- Improving productivity and reducing lost work time
- Improving morale and building trust in the workforce
- Reduce employee absences
- Decrease insurance costs due to preventable illnesses
The policy can also greatly benefit employees, and these benefits carry through to the employer:
- Prevent flu, COVID-19, and other preventable diseases
- Protect their sick time for other instances
- Protects family and household members from illness
- Improved morale while at work
Frequently Asked Questions
Can Employers Make a COVID-19 Vaccine Mandatory?
Employers may require mandatory COVID-19 vaccines, as well as other vaccines.
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) state that, generally, these mandates are permissible so long as exemptions for medical and religious reasons are considered.
What if Employees Refuse to Get Vaccinated?
Your policy should state what will happen if an employee refuses vaccination. You should decide the steps, including the potential ramifications for refusal.
You should then follow this procedure when making any decisions.
Can Employers Require Proof of Vaccination?
Yes, employers are allowed to require proof of vaccination. However, employers should carefully consider the privacy rights and interests of their employees when they do so.
A business should also follow all procedures listed in its vaccination policy.
Can an Employee Be Fired for Not Getting Vaccinated?
In most cases, Employers are allowed to fire an employee for not getting vaccinated. They must consider religious and medical exemptions and accommodations before firing an employee.
You may want to consult an attorney about a specific situation you face.