Employee vaccination status: 3 things franchisors should know

By Will Aldous | 27 Oct 2021 View comments

Many franchises are currently dealing with validating employee vaccination status as part of government mandates or, in some cases, a business decision to make vaccination compulsory for workers.

Confirming current vaccination status is just the start – phase two will involve monitoring when booster shots are due for individual employees and responding to further government announcements as the roadmap to recovery unfolds. 

With most franchises involving geographically dispersed, multi-level, multi-unit businesses it’s an overwhelming task and there are a number of ‘what ifs’ that should also be factored in, if you want to ensure your solution remains responsive and adaptable.

Here are three tips for the ongoing monitoring and management of workforce vaccination status.

1. Automation is your friend

To stay on top of key dates, reminders and confirmations, automating the process is the only way a business of a significant size and spread can monitor and communicate with its workforce effectively.

You need to work in a format that allows you to program in key dates, pre-write internal communications/reminders to employees and make sure you’ll be alerted if you don’t receive vaccination documentation from employees within the required timeframe. 

2. Plan for the unexpected

If there’s one thing that Covid-19 has taught us it’s that nothing stays the same. When you’re designing how you will monitor vaccination status ongoing, expect that the goal posts are likely to move.

What if there’s a new variant that is resistant to one of the current vaccines and a section of your workforce needs to re-vaccinate?

What about when visa workers return to Australia – will you need to deal with international vaccination certificates?

The best way to manage the unexpected is to build as much detail and flexibility as you can into your record-keeping, which will enable you to search and segment records as required and apply different rules and treatments to different subsets of your workforce. 

3. Make sure your legal requirements are met

Employers can only collect information about employee’s vaccination status in particular circumstances where the employee consents and the collection is reasonably necessary for your workplace’s functions and activities. Only collect the information that is actually required and only keep it for as long as you need it.

Once you have collected sensitive information, the security of that information is paramount – so you need to think about where it is being stored, who has access to it, and how and when it will be securely deleted.