Number of the Day: Vaccine status dishonesty

Will employees lie to you about their vaccine status to keep their job? New research says possibly.
By: | November 24, 2021

While the DOL’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration says it is suspending enforcement of the Biden administration’s employer vaccine rule, employers are still trying to create a safe workspace. But challenges remain.

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New research says some vaccine resistance will continue to challenge employers strategizing vaccine and testing mandates of their own.

Nearly 30% of unvaccinated employees would consider misrepresenting their vaccination status or fabricating documents for a variety of reasons, including keeping their jobs, according to new research from experience management technology Qualtrics.

Earlier this month, Biden’s long-awaited final rule required employers with 100 or more employees to implement a COVID-19 vaccination requirement for their workers and to offer a weekly testing alternative to those who refuse or are unable to receive a vaccine by Jan. 4.

But at a time when retention is a top priority for business leaders experiencing the effects of the Great Resignation, 75% of unvaccinated people say they would consider leaving their jobs if vaccine mandates are put into place, according to Qualtrics.

What it means for HR

“Millions of Americans remain hesitant to get the COVID-19 vaccine, and as governments and employers double down on policies and incentives, many unvaccinated people are digging in their heels,” said Benjamin Granger, Ph.D., head of employee experience advisory services at Qualtrics.

It’s imperative that employers put in place safety policies and keep engagement levels high, he said. “The goal for organizations must be to put in place appropriate safety guidelines while keeping the relationships between employer and employee intact,” he said.

With eyes on 2022, having to manage vaccinated and unvaccinated employees will be a big challenge for HR, industry leaders have said.

Booster shots may go a long way toward making workplaces and other public spaces safer,” Granger added, “but vaccine resistance—especially if it’s accompanied by dishonesty—is likely to delay the long-awaited end to this pandemic.”

Nick Otto is HRE’s senior digital editor. He is a professional communicator with more than a decade of demonstrated accomplishments in newspaper and trade publishing. He has spent the past five years covering the employee benefits space and holds bachelor’s degree from the University of Florida. He can be reached at notto@lrp.com or follow him on twitter @Ottografs.