What’s New in BambooHR: Vaccination Tracking Feature
To help you take care of your employees as we continue to navigate the COVID-19 pandemic, we’re launching a new COVID-19 tab in BambooHR with vaccination tracking.
Collecting employee vaccination statuses in BambooHR can help you follow local business requirements and continue providing a safe work environment. This new COVID-19 tab will also help you prepare for the recently announced emergency temporary standard (ETS) issued by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).
In each of these cases, the first step to ensure compliance is knowing how many of your employees are vaccinated, and tracking this information in BambooHR will help you understand how to adjust your current office health and safety plans to protect your employees.
What Information Can You Track in the BambooHR COVID-19 Tab?
The following fields will be available in the BambooHR COVID-19 tab:
- Vaccination status (Vaccinated, Partially Vaccinated, Not Vaccinated)
- Final dose administration date
- Proof of vaccination
- Type of vaccine received (List with standard brands and ability to add new)
You can add the new COVID-19 tab to your account by clicking the “More” button on the far right side of the employee record, then selecting “Customize Tabs,” “Add Tabs,” and finally, “COVID-19” in the dropdown menu.
What Is the Emergency Temporary Standard?
Issued by OSHA, the ETS is a safety standard meant to minimize the risk of COVID-19 transmission in the workplace. While it is currently facing judicial scrutiny, we recommend establishing a policy or creating a plan now, so you’re prepared if this standard goes into action. The ETS mandates all employers with over 100 employees to:
- Review the vaccination status of each employee, and keep a record of it
- Require employees who are not vaccinated to be tested for COVID-19 weekly (employers are not required to pay for or provide testing)
- Require unvaccinated employees to wear masks in the workplace
- Pay employees for the time it takes to get vaccinated for each dose (up to four hours) and provide paid sick leave for employees to recover from each dose
- Remove employees who test positive for COVID-19 from the workplace immediately
If you would like to view the full ETS, you can do so on OSHA’s website.
How Do I Create an ETS Plan?
Using BambooHR to gather employee vaccination information is the first step to creating a plan to follow the new ETS. You’ll need to know and keep a record of who is and isn’t vaccinated, of course, but knowing your current vaccination rates will also help you decide how to proceed. Once you’ve gathered employee vaccination information, you’ll be able to compile it using a custom report in BambooHR.
Here are some questions to consider as you create your plan:
- Will you require all employees to be vaccinated or allow for weekly testing?
- Will you pay for or provide weekly testing for unvaccinated employees?
- Will you allow employees to work from home to avoid both vaccination and testing requirements?
- Will you need to hire personnel or allocate new resources to manage this process?
There is no easy answer about the best way to respond to the pandemic as a community, but approaching the situation with a clear “why” will go a long way in getting employee buy-in. “If you have a clear reason for why you’re doing what you’re doing, then the knowledge will help you be much more prepared and confident in facing any resistance from employees,” says Cassie Whitlock in her article “Navigating COVID-19 Vaccines and Masks in the Workplace.” “Additionally, employees will feel more confidence and trust that you have their best interest at heart.”
“For some, the measures you take might not be enough, while for others any change from pre-pandemic guidelines may be too much,” says Cassie. She advises that your HR department “try to treat every opinion and every individual with respect, and remind them that you value their contribution. But don’t forget: every employee retains the freedom to make their own decisions, including whether or not to work for a company whose policies they disagree with.”
As you prepare for the ETS from OSHA, we hope the BambooHR vaccination tracking feature helps you gather the information you need to create a thoughtful action plan and keep your employees safe.