46% of firms to require vaccinations; percentage may rise by year’s end

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September 28, 2021 — More research into the number of firms requiring vaccinations shows how the pressure on vaccine deniers in the workplace is growing.

Nearly half of companies plan vaccine mandates, according to a survey by Gartner Inc. It found 46% of firms plan to do so where such mandates are legally permissible. And even more firms will likely institute mandates by the end of the year.

“The new federal guidance, as well as the ongoing surge in Covid-19 cases due to the Delta wave, have combined to shift executive opinion on vaccine mandates significantly since the beginning of the year,” said Chris Audet, senior director, research, in the Gartner Legal & Compliance practice.

That number could increase in the near future.

“It is likely that we will see a clear majority of firms instituting mandates of some kind by the end of the year, considering that 36% of respondents are still unsure of their organization’s plans,” Audet said.

Only 17% of companies said they don’t plan to require vaccinations.

Gartner’s report comes after President Biden announced there will be a mandate for large firms to require vaccinations or Covid testing of employees.

“The latest federal guidance gives private-sector employers the ability to shift the responsibility for requiring vaccination from the organization to the government,” said Brian Kropp, chief of research in the Gartner HR practice. “This shift in responsibility makes it easier for companies to implement a vaccine mandate.”

When it comes to testing unvaccinated workers, Gartner noted there was little consensus among survey respondents. Companies were split on whether they will administer some form of on-site testing, use third-party testing services or require employees to be responsible for their own testing. It found 15% of companies plan to terminate noncompliant employees.

Respondents were also concerned about the affects of Biden’s vaccine mandate, with 69% fearing it will drive employee turnover due to resignations or terminations. Respondents also had concerns about managing employees who refused the vaccine without an approved exemption.

Gartner’s survey included 272 legal, compliance and HR executives. It took place on Sept. 15.


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