Benefits news you may have missed: Aug. 9-13

Why Fauci predicts a boost in employer vaccine mandates: After months of encouraging employees to get vaccinated against COVID-19 with education campaigns, reminders, paid time off and more, many employers are taking the next step: requiring all or some of their workers to get inoculated. The movement comes as vaccine rates wane and the Delta variant spreads quickly across the nation, posing big problems because the variant is more transmissible and potentially more deadly than the original strand. Here are some employers that recently have announced vaccination mandates for their employees. Read more here.

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One of the best new ways to combat employee burnout: Companies including Momentive, Mailchimp, LinkedIn and Podium are turning to collective time off in an effort to alleviate employee stress and take aim at burnout, which is plaguing workers–and employers–all over the nation. Those employers closed down operations for a week, while others including SAP and Thomson Reuters have embraced company-wide mental health days. “From an HR or benefits standpoint, you’re trying to maximize the return on investment that you give to your people,” says Katie Morrow, Podium’s senior director of people operations. “This is one of the very best–it feels like for everybody, there’s a collective sense of relief and energy that comes back when they return.” Read more here.

Want to get workers vaccinated? Try these 6 strategies: With new variants of COVID-19 emerging and vaccines rates slowing, many employers have already had to pause or rethink their recently completed return-to-office plans. And although some employers are mandating vaccines, others worry about the impact that might have on talent in an already tight labor market. For CHROs seeking alternatives to a mandate, experts advise that incentivizing employees can be an effective and successful strategy. Read more here.

How fast are employers revising safety measures as Delta cases rise? With the highly contagious Delta variant spreading and wreaking havoc on return-to-work plans, employers are getting serious about vaccine and mask mandates for their employees. According to a new poll by behavioral and mental health provider ComPsych, 33% of employers are either mandating or considering mandating vaccinations of their employees, and 72% are mandating masks or considering reinstating their use in the office. Read more here.

Can employer vaccine incentives work? A significant number of unvaccinated workers (30%) say they would get vaccinated against COVID-19 in exchange for an employer incentive, such as cash or perks, according to new analysis from Joblist. For unvaccinated potential new hires who are currently unemployed, that number is even higher: 39% of them would get vaccinated for an incentive. Read more here.

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Kathryn Mayer
Kathryn Mayer is HRE’s former benefits editor and chair of the Health & Benefits Leadership Conference. She has covered benefits for the better part of a decade, and her stories have won multiple awards, including a Jesse H. Neal Award and honors from the American Society of Business Publication Editors and the National Federation of Press Women. She holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Denver.