A gym requiring proof of vaccination upon entry.

If a recent poll is any indication, more home care organizations will be instituting mandatory vaccinations against the coronavirus. More than 1 in 4 private employers surveyed are going forward with COVID-19 vaccine mandates, according to a recent poll by business consulting firm Gartner.

In the Jan. 19 poll of leaders across a wide variety of industries, 35% said they will give their employees the choice of being vaccinated or tested, 8% said they plan to mandate vaccines and another 8% said they would not require the shots. Meanwhile, 40% of those surveyed said they had already implemented vaccine mandates. Gartner conducted the survey of 400 North American executives last week, after the Supreme Court blocked the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s vaccination-or-testing requirement for workers at large employers. 

Worker exodus?

In an earlier report this month, Gartner said recent data showed executives expected vaccine mandates could prompt nearly 7% of employees to leave their jobs, either in protest over vaccine mandates or because they were dismissed for refusing the shots. 

“No one can predict just how many employees will quit as a result, but the high number shows apprehension among leaders — with many employers seeing termination as the only option if an employee refuses to be vaccinated,” Gartner Director Sumit Malhotra said in the report. “This makes it necessary for business leaders and their HR partners to plan proactively for the possibility of mass attrition.”

To that end, Gartner recommended employers manage the risk of potential job losses from vaccine mandates by soliciting feedback from employees on the requirements, reprioritizing workflows and redeploying staff where necessary, prioritizing recruitment efforts, and engaging more with staff to boost morale. 

Staying safe

The National Association for Home Care & Hospice is encouraging vaccinations, but the organization has not come out in support of mandates. NAHC is advising members not subject to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services mandate to follow OSHA’s earlier emergency temporary standard. That ETS requires nonexempt facilities to conduct hazard assessments, draw up a written plan to mitigate the spread of the virus, provide employees with N95 respirators or personal protective equipment and ensure workers maintain a distance of 6 feet between each other.

NAHC President William Dombi told McKnight’s Home Care Daily Pulse on Tuesday that home care agencies need to be prepared for a flood of job applications from employees leaving agencies that must comply with CMS’ vaccine mandate.