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Many large employers and local governments have imposed mandates for employees to get a COVID-19 vaccine (or, as an alternative, get tested regularly or demonstrate a medical or religious exemption to getting vaccinated). Employers large and small are also determining whether they will be required to comply with President Biden’s vaccine mandate for government contractors or large employers (see “How employers can prepare now for COVID-19 vaccine mandate compliance”).

Vaccine mandates will compel employers to establish a compliance process, including how employees upload their vaccination status, how the organization verifies vaccination statuses and how the information is kept confidential. In many instances, this process can be handled through an employer’s existing human resources management system. But employers can also utilize one of the increasing number of tech applications that have hit the market in recent months.

Employers have to balance the benefits of an application that works well with an existing HRM system and one that can be used easily by employees to upload vaccine records, schedule COVID-19 testing or file for an exemption from a mandate or testing. Some apps are targeted to distinct markets like large employers (the IBM Digital Health Pass) or healthcare providers (Dreampass, part of Salesforce’s Health Cloud 2.0).

Three products that may be suitable for companies with 3,000 or fewer employees (the vast majority of employers in the country) are VeriFLY (created by Daon), CommonPass and CrowdPass.

  • VeriFLY, with over 3 million users, especially in the financial services and hospitality and leisure sectors, includes a vaccine passport and identity authentication system.
  • CommonPass is a leading vaccine passport compliance application in the airline industry and is looking to expand its services to offices, schools and businesses. Its application programming interface (API) verifies an individual's health credentials via cross-validation of integrated databases and measures it up against the rules of entry for a destination.
  • CrowdPass is a streamlined employee/attendee management tool used to ensure vaccine compliance with minimal implementation cost, making it more manageable to implement for smaller organizations.

Questions that employers should consider when establishing a process for complying with a vaccine mandate include:

  • Does the mandate apply to all or just some employees?
  • Can your existing HRM system manage the uploading and safe storage of vaccine or exemption request records?
  • Who in the organization will be responsible for verifying that uploaded vaccine records are accurate?
  • What happens if an employee does not comply with the process?
  • If you decide to use an app to manage vaccine mandate compliance, what alternatives will you make available for people who don’t want to add the app to their phones?

As vaccine mandates are rolled out, employers must make certain that any new policies related to compliance are clearly communicated with employees. Vaccine mandates are controversial, and being straightforward on the reasoning behind a new policy related to a mandate (whether it’s to ensure a healthy workplace or in response to a government regulation) is important to get a high level of employee participation.

For more information on this topic, or to learn how Baker Tilly specialists can help assist, contact our team.

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