After the U.S. Supreme Court blocked the Biden administration’s executive order to mandate vaccines or routine testing for large businesses, employers are moving forward with their own policies.
According to a new Gartner survey of over 200 big companies, 30% are still requiring or will require employees to receive a Covid-19 vaccine, while 50% stated having rules in place or had plans for new strategies that would give workers a choice between receiving a vaccine or submitting to weekly tests. The remaining 20% have scrapped their vaccine-related policies altogether.
“All of the legal wranglings indicate that if a company wants to have a mandate, they can have a mandate,” said Brian Kropp, chief of research at Gartner’s HR practice.
Prior to the court’s ruling, Gartner said that 45% of employers had plans to implement a vaccine mandate or already had one in place, while 55% intended to provide workers with a choice between testing and receiving a vaccine.
Companies like GE and Starbucks are among some of the firms that decided to reverse vaccine mandates, but have continued to encourage employees to get the vaccine.
Although current vaccines do not outright prevent the transmission of the Omicron, the dominant variant of Covid, it does prevent severe illness which can help keep workers in the workplace.
While the current wave of Covid will likely dissipate, companies that do not require vaccines in the future may struggle with labor shortages as unvaccinated employees are more likely to experience symptoms after transmitting the virus.