Fire Paramedic Cuevas (R) delivers a Covid-19 vaccine dose to a person at a vaccination event at Culver City Fire Station 1 on August 05, 2021 in Culver City, California.

Mario Tama | Getty Images News | Getty Images

As more and more people return to work after months of working from home, the question of vaccination status is becoming more and more relevant and, in more and more cases, a condition of employment.

In both the US and Europe there is a growing number of jobs and sectors that now require full vaccination against Covid-19 – not just in the more obvious public roles like healthcare and education, but also in technology and hospitality, Travel and finance.

When Covid vaccines began rolling out in the US and Europe about nine months ago, the majority of the workforce had to wait in line to get a vaccination, with priority given to the elderly and healthcare workers.

But vaccinations in high-income countries are now more accessible to all adults, and employers have encouraged their employees to vaccinate, both for the health of their workers and for the restoration of their businesses.

As vaccination campaigns expand to the remaining unvaccinated populations – mainly adolescents – unvaccinated adults may find it increasingly difficult to get back to work or find employment in some sectors and companies.

Less scope for jobs

The net continued to close to unvaccinated people last week, with President Joe Biden warning that “patience is waning” with the unvaccinated, especially as US Covid cases remain high as the highly contagious Delta variant spreads.

In a much stricter tone, Biden outlined a plan last Thursday to increase Covid vaccination rates nationwide, pressure private employers to vaccinate their workforce and mandate vaccinations for federal employees, contractors and healthcare workers.

The proportion of job postings that require a vaccination has skyrocketed since the US Food and Drug Administration granted Pfizer BioNTech vaccine full approval on Aug. 23, according to job website Indeed.

“Indeed, vaccination-requiring vacancies began to rise a few weeks ago and have been accelerating since then,” noted AnnElizabeth Konkel, economist at Indeed Hiring Lab, adding that in the seven days ending August 30, the stake of job postings per million that had to be specially vaccinated against Covid rose by 119% compared to the previous month.

Job postings that required vaccination but didn’t cite Covid followed the same trend, increasing 242% over the same period. Nonetheless, Indeed found that less than 1% of all job postings on its website were vaccinated jobs, although the number may increase

Read more: While many are returning to the office, tensions flare up between the “Vaxxed and Unvaxxed”

In the seven days leading up to August 30, the percentage of job postings per million that recommended vaccination rather than mandatory increased by 40% month over month.

“With the number of Delta variant cases rising, employers are no doubt wondering how to keep their business on track. Vaccine requirements are one way to keep employees and customers safer and to keep business running, ”noted Konkel.

“In the coming weeks, it will be important to observe whether job postings promoting vaccination lose their relevance to those who need vaccination. Employers who don’t advertise vaccination are likely to bet their stance on finding them Gives workers a head start … but some experts would argue. ” it has harmful public health consequences, “she said.

Which professions want to vaccinate?

In some sectors, vaccinated job postings have risen dramatically, although Indeed’s job data shows that those in need of vaccination are still a small fraction of the total vacancy rate.

Given the front line of the sectors, the percentage of job postings that require vaccination in the Personal Care and Home Health industries in the month through 30 is revealed.

But also in other industries the vaccination requirement appeared in more job advertisements.

In the month up to August 30, the proportion of job advertisements requiring vaccination in the legal sector rose by 210%, in the education sector by 146%, in the area of ​​administrative assistance by 219% and in the media by 180% in the communications industry.

State-of-the-art, Arizona led the nation on job postings that require vaccination, while Washington state ranked second. From a regional perspective, the West Coast and New England had slightly higher proportions of vacant vacancies than other parts of the country.

“Since the delta variant has devastating effects, vaccination rates are increasing. But with winter approaching, some employers are taking matters into their own hands and requiring vaccinations as this trend goes on. At the same time, a small but growing number of job seekers, especially in nursing, are looking for opportunities that do not need to be vaccinated, ”said Konkel.

Do I have to get vaccinated?

McDonald’s is among the companies to announce that their office workers in the United States will need to be vaccinated against the coronavirus.

SOPA pictures | LightRakete | Getty Images

The influential US lobby group AARP notes that more and more people – both job seekers and currently employed – are asking if they need a Covid vaccination if they want to keep their jobs:

“The short answer, yes. An employer can make vaccination compulsory if you want to continue working there. However, there are significant exemptions for potential disability-related concerns you may have and religious beliefs that prohibit vaccination.” , noted the AARP in late August.

“With many Americans still reluctant to get vaccinated even though the Delta variant spreads, more and more employers are telling workers that they either need to be vaccinated or have a rigorous testing regimen, wear masks, and practice physical distancing when they do want to work again. Refusal to vaccinate could result in job loss and prohibit entitlement to unemployment benefits. “

What employers should do

As millions of people return to the office after months of working from home, there are increasing reports of tension between vaccinated and unvaccinated workers.

Employment experts say it is vital for employers to be open and clear with employees about their vaccination expectations and safety protocol before they return to work.

“Employers should give their employees timely notice of return dates, vaccination requirements, on-site work rules and placement procedures,” Anthony Mingione, an employment lawyer and partner in the New York office of the Blank Rome law firm, told CNBC last week.

“Effective communication also includes conveying expectations about the workplace, reminding employees of the personal rights of their colleagues and ensuring that the consequences of violations are understood in advance, such as inadequate childcare or school closings, immunocompromised family members or Covid-19 -Quarantines affected. Aside from complying with the law, the most important thing in resolving conflicts is the consistent application of guidelines, “he said.

Lucy Lewis, partner at global HR attorney Lewis Silkin, stated that when employers face persistent vaccination delays on their workers, it would be best for companies to build an open dialogue between workers and employers.

“Our experience has shown that the most effective way of discussing compulsory vaccination was to actively listen: Encourage employees to share their reasons for not vaccinating. In some cases there may be a real reason. ” [e.g. medical] why vaccination is not possible and in these cases alternative steps can be taken [e.g. regular testing for office attendance]She remarked.

In any event, such discussions provide an opportunity to promote vaccination by explaining why it is important, Lewis said, “and to ensure that reluctant employees rely on trustworthy sources for information about vaccine safety.”