Working Smarter Café

6 Tips on Preparing Yourself for Vaccine Mandates and How UKG Can Help

Vaccine Mandate

It’s at the top of everybody’s mind right now — vaccine management. In early September, the Path Out of the Pandemic Plan was announced by President Joe Biden. The announcement led to deeper conversations about tracking employee vaccination status or negative test results for those not vaccinated, providing paid time off (PTO) for employees to receive and recover from the vaccine, and finding vaccinated candidates for open positions. While organizations await guidance from OSHA and its Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS), preparations to create vaccination management strategies have already begun.
 
With vaccine mandates on the horizon for many organizations, read below how UKG resources and your UKG Ready™ solution can help support your vaccine management strategy. 

The COVID Response Hub is a tool designed to help you navigate the tracking process utilizing UKG Ready functionality. By utilizing functionality from the HR, scheduler, and time modules, you can manage and streamline the data in real time. The COVID Response Hub uses dashboard layout tabs to bring these details to the forefront. This includes items such as tracking vaccination statuses or test results and managing PTO for employees. Using your UKG Ready solution, you can also automate processes to gather employee documents and communicate relevant policies, procedures, and initiatives.

Tracking vaccination status

Determining how you will track your employees’ vaccination status will be a top priority. Tools including the skills functionality or HR Custom Fields can help you with tracking. When utilizing skills to track vaccination status, you can also link these to your scheduling abilities* to ensure that employees’ schedules are arranged to align with vaccine mandates. Take a look at our COVID Response Hub user guide to learn more about configuring the skills needed for tracking.

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If your organization requires proof of vaccination, the training/certifications functionality can help track the status of vaccination cards and house uploaded document cards. To ensure proper privacy protocols are in place, you can use the company document type functionality to set visibility parameters that allow only the employee and a small group, such as the HR team, to access card details.

Tracking test results

According to mandates, those who are unvaccinated will need to provide a negative test result on at least a weekly basis before returning to work on site. To help automate this process, you can configure a training/certification course that will repeat weekly. The system can track details when history is added and communicate with the employee, managers, and others involved in the tracking process when a new test result is due or expired. 

Gathering these items from your employees

Avoid the middleman or multiple avenues of gathering vaccination information or weekly test results by creating an HR action. In the HR action, your employees can complete a custom form providing their vaccination information or upload documents such as their vaccination card or test results. We’ve even created a sample custom form you can use to get started on gathering your employees’ vaccination status. The HR action can be configured to go directly to the team tracking these items, speeding up the process and avoiding lost time. If you have additional document management needs, UKG also offers HR services delivery (HRSD) as part of our solution offering. You can learn more about HRSD in one of our latest innovations webinars.

Preparing for paid time off requirements

As part of the mandate requirements, employers with 100 or more employees will be required to provide paid time off for the time it takes employees to get vaccinated and to recover if they are experiencing post-vaccination symptoms. Prepare by using the time-off options in Ready. You can create new time-off types to accomplish this. To ensure the employee is paid for the time they are off, the time-off type can be tied to an earnings code.

Communicating with your employees

Throughout the strategic planning and execution process, communicating updates and essential information regarding these efforts should take a front seat. Communicating with your employees using functionality such as the company hub, announcements, broadcast messaging, and notifications will help keep your employees well-informed. 

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These communication tools will also aid in gathering your employees’ vaccination status information or help automate the process of ensuring employees are notified when new test results are needed. 

Be in the know when hiring new candidates

Keep yourself ahead of the game when hiring new candidates by utilizing recruitment questionnaires or knockout questions. The answers to these questions will help you understand whether a new candidate will be providing vaccination status, whether they will need to submit negative test results, or whether you will need to provide them paid time off to get the vaccine once hired. Then, as you onboard your new employees, you can gather the required vaccination status documentation through the checklists in the employee preboarding portal. 

We understand the importance of staying up to date as everyone awaits guidance on the new legislation. The resources outlined above are there to help you prepare your strategy in the meantime. Stay tuned for more details and resources to come. 

*UKG Ready Scheduler is required.

Supporting resources

  • Connect with your peers in the COVID-19 Discussion Group and bookmark the COVID-19 Resource Center. The COVID-19 Discussion Group offers you the opportunity to network with your peers to see what they are doing to prepare for the impending legislation, while the COVID-19 Resource Center provides easy access to information about COVID-19-related legislation and how your UKG Ready solution can support you.