September 27, 2021
More than half of U.S. employers – 54% – already have a Covid-19 vaccine mandate or are strongly considering one, according to a survey taken earlier this month by insurance broker McGriff.
Ahead of President Biden’s plan requiring about two-thirds of all American workers to get fully vaccinated or tested weekly, the McGriff survey shows that more employers were already leaning in that direction. In a previous survey in January, only 3% of employers told McGriff they were planning on a vaccine mandate.
The inaugural “Instant Insights” Covid-19 vaccine mandate survey, conducted by the McGriff Employee Benefits Division, revealed that 11% of the 315 employers surveyed had already implemented, or were in the process of implementing, a vaccine mandate.
The U.S. regulatory approval of Pfizer Inc.’s vaccine last month has prompted a growing number of employers to adopt mandates as the highly contagious delta variant spreads.
“Now that the Pfizer vaccine has been fully approved by the FDA, we wanted to see how that has impacted employer attitudes toward the vaccination status of their workforce,” said Nick Pearce, manager of the McGriff Employee Benefits Insights and Analytics group. “When compared with what employers told us in January, I think the message is clear. Now that the vaccine has been proven safe and effective, many employers want to ensure the safety of their workforce and get back to doing business.”
Companies still considering a mandate at the time of the Sept. 1 survey said that a significant increase in Covid-19 medical claims costs among non-vaccinated employees would be the most likely reason to move forward with a mandate (36%).
Thirty-five percent of employers said an increase in local Covid-19 infection rates and hospitalizations would be their No. 1 decision-making factor. And 31% of respondents said an outbreak in the workplace would be the top consideration in making their decision.
The survey also found that at least 45% of companies are providing additional paid leave due to Covid-19 quarantines beyond normal paid time off. Many are beginning to make the paid leave contingent upon vaccination status – with 9% already doing so and 29% considering it.
Other key findings from the survey include:
- 12% of employers are either already providing an incentive to vaccinated employees or are planning to do so, while 19% were weighing that option.
- Only 29% of employers said they would not consider a vaccine mandate or surcharge/incentive policy under any circumstances. The most common reason cited was that the mandate did not align with company culture or beliefs (43%).
As part of Biden’s “Path out of the Pandemic” plan announced Sept. 8, private employers with 100 or more staff must ensure their workers are fully vaccinated or produce a negative Covid-19 test weekly. The measure will be implemented through an emergency temporary standard, or ETS, issued by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration, which regulates workplaces. The rule is expected in the coming weeks, and it was not clear when it would take effect.
A subsidiary of Truist Insurance Holdings, McGriff is a full-service insurance broker providing risk management and insurance solutions to clients across the United States. The firm’s coverages include commercial property and casualty, corporate bonding and surety services, cyber, management liability, captives and alternative risk transfer programs, small business, employee benefits, title insurance, personal lines, and life and health.
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