Preparing for COVID-19 vaccination: Guide for employers
According to guidance from the CIPD, employers must bear in mind that people who have received their vaccination must still obey social-distancing rules. Therefore, employers must continue to consider their other COVID-19 security measures.
The vaccine is just one measure of protection and the extent to which the virus will further mutate is still unknown. Employers still need to question whether bringing employees into the workplace is essential, especially in the early days of the rollout, and that measures such as ventilation, handwashing, social distancing and the use of PPE and so on must continue to be an essential part of their COVID-secure measures. Employers should stay up to date with the latest plans and advice on the government website and adjust their plans accordingly.
The CIPD’s document gives some guidance on encouraging vaccination. Engagement by organisations through good communication will help employees make informed decisions regarding their vaccination. Explaining and encouraging employees with impartial, factual information will keep them informed about the workplace impact and risks of COVID-19, says the guidance.
- Ways to communicate encouragement.
- Run an awareness campaign, drawing on NHS information. There is an NHS COVID Behaviour Change Unit helping present a more powerful and persuasive case for vaccination.
- Offer employees consistent, accessible and factual safety data which promotes the genuine achievement of science in producing an effective vaccine.
- Ensure line managers are aware of policy and organisational approach.
- Consider counteracting misinformation and conspiracy theory spread through social media. The education programme may promote the merits of vaccines in general, and the COVID vaccines specifically.
If an employee voices concerns about being vaccinated, then individual discussions with a trusted staff member may help to allay fears and obtain their consent but employees should not be unduly pressurised into agreeing.
Developing (or updating) a policy on vaccination allows employers to outline the organisation’s stance on vaccination and explain the role of and expectations on managers, HR and employees.
Vaccination policies should take into account the legal aspects, for example, with respect to discrimination claims, as well as providing information on data protection and health and safety duties.
The guidance also covers planning for different groups of employees, such as those who can’t have the vaccine and those who may be hesitant. Advice for addressing the situation where employees refuse the vaccine is also given.
The full guidance can be found here.
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