The world of work – sensitive subject of compulsory vaccination

Free masks, quick tests, the option to work from home: In the Corona crisis, numerous companies reacted in an exemplary manner to protect the health of their workforce. According to a survey by StepStone among around 2,000 people, almost 50 percent of employees would also like their company to seek vaccination against Covid-19. 28 percent would even accept an obligation to vaccinate.

“18 percent would be more likely to quit if the employer introduced compulsory vaccinations,” said Nikolai Dürhammer, Managing Director of StepStone Austria, to journalists on Wednesday on the occasion of the digital job fair “Your Next Step”.

Vaccination status as a setting criterion

Job seekers are more open to vaccination requirements. Almost half (46 percent) would get vaccinated if required to get a job. A third of all respondents think that vaccination status should not be a recruitment criterion.

It’s a sensitive issue. “The courts will have to decide,” said labor law expert Michael Leitner. In Austria – currently – nobody is legally obliged to be vaccinated against certain infectious diseases. Only in the Styrian state hospitals is there a measles vaccination for employees who work in children’s wards, for example, says Silvia Hruschka-Frank, labor law expert at the Vienna Chamber of Labor.

There is no obligation for job applicants to provide information on the vaccination status in the interview. “That is none of the employer’s business. The more exciting question is: What happens when you lie? It will depend heavily on where someone is employed, for example in the health sector,” says Hruschka-Frank. Potential employers have the right not to consider the application if applicants do not want to provide information on the vaccination status. Hruschka-Frank would not advise any employer to introduce compulsory vaccinations. Rather, one should rely on voluntariness. That creates a positive incentive.

According to a recent survey of 1,000 executives in Great Britain, 58 percent of the managers surveyed would like to be able to introduce compulsory corona vaccination for their employees.

In principle, companies are obliged to protect the life and health of their employees and customers, including through hygiene measures. This also and especially applies to the corona pandemic. In the survey, 82 percent said they were convinced that their health was important to their employer. 8 percent felt “absolutely not protected”.

The mood has clouded over

In any case, the mood among the working population was better once. According to the survey carried out in February, almost every second person surveyed is more dissatisfied with their job or their job prospects than they were before the crisis. By and large, however, working from home works well.

Of the over-50s, 97 percent – almost all of them – want to continue working from home. 30 percent could imagine working exclusively “remotely” independently of Corona. Among the under-30s, it is only 87 percent and 20 percent, respectively. Overall, three quarters of those surveyed have used home offices since the beginning of the Corona crisis. 30 percent report restrictions in communication with colleagues. “The social aspect is lost when working from home,” says Nikolai Dürhammer.

In recruiting, the trend towards digitization has increased further over the past twelve months. Much of the application process takes place online – a challenge for applicants and companies alike. For example, 34 percent of under-30s when looking for a job have the impression that they are less able to present themselves during a telephone or video call than in a personal conversation with potential employers. The over-50-year-olds seem to find it easier, for them it is only 24 percent.(ede)

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