As Britain passes the one-year anniversary of WHO declaring the global pandemic, COVID-19 vaccination processes are well underway across the world. With more than 32 million Brits now having received at least one dose of the Covid-19 vaccines, people management platform Employment Hero reveals new data on how employees and employers are feeling as vaccinations amp up and lockdown restrictions ease.
In a survey of more than 500 employers and 500 employees in the UK in March 2021, the majority of respondents wanted the vaccine (84%).
29% of Gen Z (aged 18-24) respondents said that they are feeling unsure about taking the vaccine and a further 15% said that they do not want the vaccine. From those questioned, only 56% said that they would be taking the jab if offered.
Despite this, a surprising 37% of UK employers suggested they will be mandating vaccinations within their workplace. The pressure is already filtering down through businesses with nearly a quarter of Brits (24%) admitted to feeling forced to take a jab by their employers. These figures may not initially appear alarming. However, Employment Hero’s research dived deeper discovering dramatically different results depending on the employee’s location.
At the very top end of the pressure spectrum, employees in Greater London were 42% more likely to feel pressured by their employer, whereas those working in Scotland were 74% less likely to feel pressured.
When questioned about Vaccine Passports, nearly eight out of ten employees in the UK think that Vaccine Passports are a good idea, while 21% do not agree. On the other hand, Employers in the UK are more divided about Vaccine passports, with 36% stating that they will adopt and 30% stating that they will not adopt.
With hesitation and clear division on mandating Vaccines and Vaccine Passports, it appears employers won’t be rushing back into offices just yet. Many employers around the UK (29%) are considering the idea of long-term remote working with an additional 26% said they would allow more flexibility on the location and/or hours of work. Only 23% of employers said they would return their teams to the office as normal over the next six months.
Ben Thompson, CEO and co-founder of Employment Hero, said, “This year has presented unique challenges for many employers and employees and as we look to the next six months, there are positives for businesses worldwide, but new challenges will arise. It is important employers listen to their employees and offer ‘Total Employment Care’ where possible. Don’t make assumptions about employee resistance to the vaccine or returning to the office. Share verified information with your employees and be open to their feedback or risk star talent jumping ship.
“A full return to the office might not happen in 2021, or ever, and employers should be prepared for this. One of the few silver linings of the pandemic was the realisation that workers can still thrive productively while working outside the office parameters. Businesses should not forget this. Invest in the tools that keep both productivity and communication up, and don’t overlook an incredibly talented workforce just because of their personal health choices or remote working preferences.”