Can Employers Make COVID-19 Vaccination Mandatory?

2020 saw employers lose several work hours, employees, opportunities, and much more. If the vaccine would help stabilize the business, then it would be natural for employers to want to enforce it. 

The vaccine has been feared to cause COVID-like symptoms. It’s also rumored to affect the DNA. The fear may be unfounded but there still many employees who haven’t agreed to take the jab.

As employees and employers take sides on whether or not to take the vaccine, can employers call the shots and make the COVID-19 vaccination mandatory?

Employers can Make the COVID-19 Vaccination Mandatory?

Yes. Employers have the right to make the vaccine mandatory but give the employees alternative working conditions if they refuse to take it.

Although rules vary from country to country, most employment commissions support employers requiring vaccination from their employees. The U.S. Equal Employment commission is one example. It has permitted companies to mandate their staff to take COVID-19, flu, and other vaccines.

OSHA also mandates employers to provide a healthy working environment. Additionally, International Labor Organization (ILO) constitution has a principle which states that workers need to be protected from diseases, sickness, or injuries arising from their employment. 

Does that mean the employees have been denied the right to opt against the vaccine? That’s not the case. An employee who refuses to take the vaccine will not necessarily get fired. However, he or she may be required to sign an agreement dictating the conditions to work under.

The Pros and Cons of Making Covid-19 Vaccination Mandatory

Experts suggest that over 75% vaccination rate is needed before COVID-19 herd immunity can be attained. Still, if employees are mandated to take the vaccination, conflicts may arise from opposing sides. 

Knowing the advantages and disadvantages of the vaccination as an employer informs your reactions and decisions. Here are facts supporting the vaccine intake.

The Pros of Making Covid-19 Vaccination Mandatory

  1. Once the staff is vaccinated, their immunity is armed to fight against future infections.
  2. A vaccinated staff protects others from getting contaminated. What most people assume is that one must have the symptoms to infect others. Contrary to this assumption, a staff can spread coronavirus while they have no sign of sickness.
  3. By advocating for the vaccine, the employer propagates a healthy working environment. Vaccinated staffs have the confidence to serve especially if the work involves active interactions with others. The clients also have confidence being served, especially the elderly.
  4. A lot of work hours are saved. COVID-19 has robbed employees of a lot of work hours. This causes staff management crisis and financial crisis for those paid per hours worked.
  5. Lockdown has been blamed for affecting the mental health of infected persons due to post-exposure isolation. Vaccination helps staff escape isolation and consequently mental stress.
  6. Staff is free to travel. Most travel companies are advocating for companies to rally and have their staff vaccinated in readiness for work travel. 

The Cons of Making Covid-19 Vaccination Mandatory

  1. The vaccine triggers COVID – like symptoms after the first jab. The reaction lasts for as long as a week for some staff costing some work hours.
  2. Although the vaccines received pre-approval and their benefits outweigh the limitations, staff may still be reluctant to get vaccinated until it receives full approval from Food and Drugs Administration (FDA).
  3. It may cause disparities and tension among the staff as they decide for or against it.
  4. If a staff suffers adverse reactions against the vaccine, the employer may be held accountable if the vaccine was made a requirement.
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