How BerniePortal Can Help HR With New Vaccine Requirements
On Thursday Morning, the Biden Administration released their latest attempt at increasing COVID-19 vaccinations rates to lower the spread of the disease. The new rules require employees to be vaccinated or should they choose not to be, they will have to show proof of negative test results weekly and wear a mask in the workplace. These new rules come with a hefty $13,653 fine per serious violation and will be enforced for organizations with 100+ employees. These new rules should not be taken lightly as they will affect a whopping 100 million workers.
So yes, you may want to run to check on your HR friends, because chances are, they are stressing on exactly how they are going to monitor these new requirements. Despite the temporary stay by a federal appeals court, it’s never too early to start preparing. But we are here to lift the weight off HR’s shoulders, BerniePortal can help your company communicate, track and stay compliant.
Note: On November 6, 2021, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals temporarily stayed the vaccinate-or-test Emergency Temporary Standard (“ETS”). As of December 3rd, the vaccine mandate is still currently in litigation. We will continue to update this blog post with further information as it is released.
The first step to handling a new policy that will directly impact your employees, is to put it into writing and communicate it clearly. BerniePortal’s Compliance feature is a great tool for uploading company policies, and requiring every employee to e-sign their acknowledgement. Your policy should outline what is expected of your employees, how your company plans to support this policy, and what will happen should they choose to not abide by the new rules. In this situation, it is best to over explain, leaving no room for confusion.
Tip: Biden’s new rules state that employers are not required to pay for employee’s testing. Whether your company chooses to pay for testing or not, clearly outline this in your policy.
BerniePortal allows you to send email reminders to those who have not completed compliance documents, ensuring you will be compliant come the Jan. 4th deadline. Once employees have acknowledged and signed the policy, the compliance feature will store them for reference and proof of policy.
Within BerniePortal, each employee has their own Personnel File to store important documents. Utilize this feature as a place for employees to upload their vaccination records or testing results. This will help keep a digital trail of every employee’s records that HR can easily access.
Tip: be sure your company is very clear in its policy what you will consider adequate proof. For example, are pictures of vaccine cards okay or do you only want scan/photocopied versions only? It’s important to establish expectations upfront.
Part of the Biden Administration’s new rules states that employers are required to offer PTO for employees to get vaccinated and/or sick leave if they were to have side effects. You might be thinking, “how are we going to track that on top of vaccine/testing results?!”. BerniePortal’s PTO feature is here to save the day with an efficient requesting and approval process.
Employees are able to quickly request the day off when they schedule a vaccine appointment, and the text box makes it easy to communicate this with their manager. BerniePortal’s PTO feature also includes a calendar for managers to monitor and prepare for when employees are going to be out of office.
And last but certainly not least, whenever your company implements a new policy that affects employees, it’s important to keep a pulse on how employees are taking to it. BerniePortal’s survey tool in our Performance Management feature is a great way to gather company feedback. Here are some survey questions you can send following up a new company policy:
- On a scale of 1-10, how well do you think the company’s new COVID-19 policy was communicated?
- Do you have any feedback for how we could’ve better communicated this new policy? If yes, please elaborate in the text box below.
- Do you have suggestions of how we can better support you with this new policy in place? Please elaborate.
- Is there anything about the new policy that is still unclear to you? If yes, please elaborate below so we can follow up.
Taking the time to reach out to your employees will show your company values their feedback and that you are all in this together.
BerniePortal is here to help
It can certainly be exhausting trying to keep up with new requirements and implementing new processes to stay compliant. We are here to help you keep updated on what is happening, and how BerniePortal can help you streamline your administrative work.
Are you already preparing for 2022? Enroll in our latest BernieU course, HR Prep 2022, to make sure you have crossed all your T’s and dotted all your I’s when it comes to end of the year compliance.
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