More than HALF of US employers have or will require vaccine mandates

More than HALF of US employers have or will require vaccine mandates
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The majority of U.S. employers are requiring their workers to get vaccinated against COVID-19 or are planning such mandates, a new survey finds.

Advisory firm Willis Towers Watson surveyed 543 companies representing 5.2 million workers in mid-November, asking about their Covid safety policies.

About 18 percent of the companies are requiring vaccines already, according to the survey, while 32 percent will add a vaccine requirement if Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) rules take effect

An additional seven percent of employers plan to require vaccinations regardless of the OSHA rule. 

Only three percent of employers with vaccine mandates reported a notable increase in resignations.

The findings suggest that vaccine mandates are broadly popular with employers – despite a number of legal challenges as employers seek to bring their workers back into offices safely.

More than HALF of US employers have or will require vaccine mandates
© Provided by Daily Mail (
More than HALF of US employers have or will require vaccine mandates
© Provided by Daily Mail (

On November 4, President Biden announced a new federal vaccination policy.

All employers with 100 or more workers will be required to get those workers vaccinated against Covid or ensure that they were tested once a week.

The requirement is scheduled to take effect as an Emergency Temporary Standard under OSHA, which regulates all employers in the U.S., on January 4, 2022

Since its announcement, however, the policy has been challenged by federal, state and local politicians as well as businesses.

Lawsuits have been filed in at least 26 states by Republican attorneys general, businesses and industry groups, according to CNBC.

Some attorneys say the policy is unconstitutional, while the Biden administration argues that it is a necessary pandemic response strategy.

The vaccine requirement may reach the Supreme Court, some experts say.

Despite the legal challenges, a new survey suggests that the policy is popular with a majority of U.S. employers.

Global advisory, broking, and solutions company Willis Towers Watson conducted the survey between November 12 and November 18.

The survey included 543 large U.S. companies, representing about 5.2 million workers in total.

The majority (57 percent) of companies that responded to the survey said that they either already required Covid vaccines or plan to do so.

This includes 18 percent that currently have mandates in place and 32 percent that intend to add vaccine requirements if OSHA’s standard takes effect.

Another seven percent of employers said that they plan to require vaccination, even if the OSHA standard does not take effect.

For almost one-third (31 percent) of companies planning vaccine mandates, losing workers over the ruling is a major concern.

Among companies that currently have vaccine mandates in place, however, just three percent said that resignations are increasing among their employees.

Meanwhile, 48 percent of employers said that vaccine mandates could potentially be a draw for new employees and retention.

‘Despite the current holding pattern pending the court rulings, we advise employers to proceed with plans to implement the mandate as well as other efforts to protect their workers,’ said Dr Jeff Levin-Scherz, population health leader at Willis Towers Watson.

‘Employers can encourage vaccinations and boosters with scheduling flexibility and time off, promote regular testing, stipulate mask wearing onsite to ensure employee health and safety – and support this with regular communications.’

More than HALF of US employers have or will require vaccine mandates
© Provided by Daily Mail (

About half of the companies included in Willis Towers Watson’s survey said they intend to judge medical exemption and religious exemption requests internally.

Vaccine mandates were more popular with the companies surveyed than financial incentives.

Three-quarters of the companies reported that they weren’t offering any financial incentives.

Just 11 percent currently offer some form of incentive, while 14 percent have ended or plan to end their incentive programs.

Many companies that responded to the survey are planning – or already using – additional Covid safety measures in addition to vaccines.

Nine in ten employers are already requiring or plan to require masks in indoor settings.

The vast majority of employers in the survey (84 percent) are also planning to offer testing to employees.

One quarter of companies said their unvaccinated employees would be required to pay for tests out of pocket.

Companies are still figuring out their testing strategies, though.

Almost half (47 percent) of the employers that are already offering or plan to offer tests said that they’re unsure or haven’t yet determined which tests to use.

More than HALF of US employers have or will require vaccine mandates
© Provided by Daily Mail 195853293
More than HALF of US employers have or will require vaccine mandates
© Provided by Daily Mail

While pandemic concerns remain ongoing – as cases increase again in the U.S. and the Omicron variant presents a new threat – many companies are reaching a ‘new normal’ at their workplaces.

About 29 percent of companies in the survey said their organizations had reached that ‘new normal’ already, while 28 percent said they anticipate entering ‘new normal’ in late 2022.

The respondents said that about one-third of employees are working remotely, on average, and this number is expected to drop in early 2022.

‘Employers continue to evaluate the best way to keep their workers, families and the community safe,’ Levin-Scherz said.

‘With the risk of Covid infection higher now than a month ago, some companies have delayed bringing employees back to the worksite.’ 

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