It has been challenging for employers to navigate COVID-19 requirements. Legislation often changes, making it difficult to determine what steps to take for compliance. OSHA’s now-defunct emergency temporary standard around COVID-19 vaccine tracking provides a glimpse of what employers may be required to report at some point.
This article provides you with recent updates regarding OSHA’s emergency temporary standard. We’ve included information on updated COVID-19 legislation for you below. In addition to informational resources, we’ve also provided some tips you can use to prepare for legislative changes that may arise. Furthermore, we outline changes we have made to our payroll and HR technology to help you meet any potential vaccine tracking requirements in the future.
OSHA’s Emergency Temporary Standard
A few months ago, the Federal Register published The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)’s Emergency Temporary Standard. This legislation requires United States’ businesses with at least 100 employees to ensure their workers get vaccinated against the coronavirus. If employees aren’t vaccinated, they must wear a mask and test for COVID-19 on at least a weekly basis.
However, since the initial passing of this temporary standard, several courts have made appeals pausing the legislation’s mandate. Therefore, on January 13th, the Supreme Court enacted a stay or a hold on the mandate. *In response to the Supreme Court’s ruling, OSHA has withdrawn the vaccine and testing rules for businesses effective January 26th.
Although this means employers aren’t required to implement OSHA’s proposed policies, there is still a possibility that they might try to finalize a permanent vaccine and testing rule in the future. In the meantime, OSHA has the authority to investigate and fine any employer that does not provide a safe work environment. To that end, many employers may decide to implement COVID-19 vaccine tracking to mitigate any risk voluntarily.
*We will update this article if any new legislation changes arise.
How Employers and HR Leaders Can Prepare for Voluntary COVID-19 Vaccine Tracking
If you decide to track COVID vaccines for your workforce voluntarily, there are ways to prepare proactively. Review your company policies, communication channels, and current HR capabilities to prepare for upcoming legislative changes.
Assess the workloads of current payroll and HR leaders and adjust your HR strategy accordingly. Also, ask your current HR tech provider if they have the technological capacity to help you execute new changes.
Since HR will be the head of vaccine compliance, you’ll need to consider how COVID vaccine tracking affects your workforce and workload. For example, remote worker exemptions could impact your ability to have company-wide gatherings and more. Here are some things to consider reviewing and implementing throughout your workplace:
- An updated company policy that includes procedures for gatherings
- A communication channel that helps you provide employees with necessary vaccine information and the impact any new health care legislation may have on their work-life
- The ability to manage compliance information across multiple locations and workers, whether in-office or remote
- A systematic way to keep track of vaccination records, vaccine rates, and report on exemption requests
- Vaccine data that shows the percentage of people in your workforce who have received at least one dose and their vaccination program timelines
- A way to track the number of doses that have been administered during onsite vaccinations
- Employees to track their vaccine dosages certification statuses and receive reminders when something is coming due
- Potential resource Hubs that include Centers for Disease Control guidelines, new legislative changes, booster dose updates, and other information about protecting workers
- The capability to provide leadership and select government agencies with extensive analysis and reports that guarantee compliance
The right strategy and payroll and HR technology can help mitigate COVID-19 challenges. As changes occur, an effective company policy and communication strategy would empower employees to participate in their compliance actively. Meanwhile, easy-to-use technology would ensure information gets reported accurately and timely.
How APS is Helping Businesses With COVID-19 Vaccine Tracking
Even though the Emergency Temporary Standard is off the table, you still need to prepare for potential employer vaccine tracking requirements in the future. APS is here to help payroll and HR administrators manage these requirements more efficiently.
Creating a new company policy, communicating that policy to employees, and staying on top of employee compliance can seem daunting. When you pair new legislation with vaccine tracking, it’s easy to understand why you might feel overwhelmed. So, consider the role HR software plays in helping leaders handle compliance tasks and communicating with employees effectively.
Our configurable payroll and HR features ensure your employees stay informed of new policies while simultaneously empowering them to submit necessary compliance documentation. We do all of this without creating an additional administrative burden for you. Here’s how:
Streamlined Document Management Capabilities
- Share your new vaccination policy with employees electronically
- Obtain and track eSignatures
- Manage vaccine documentation on a per-employee basis (i.e., vaccine certification or weekly COVID testing results)
Customized Employee Recordkeeping
- Our custom fields enable you to create unique identifiers on the Employee Record
Effective Employee Communication Channels
- Quickly distribute policy updates and changes to your workforce with our Company Newsfeed
- Employees receive alerts via email or text when a task is coming due
- Track the number of employee views and even notify employees who have not yet viewed essential posts