ARLINGTON, VA, March 25, 2021 — U.S. employers are taking measures to make vaccines more accessible to their employees and to encourage them to get inoculated, according to a new survey by Willis Towers Watson (NASDAQ: WLTW), a leading global advisory, broking and solutions company.
The Emerging Trends in Health Care Survey conducted earlier this month found more than eight in 10 employers (84%) agree immunization of the population will allow the country to reactivate the economy, and 80% of employers say it will allow them to move to a new normal in terms of returning to the workplace. Yet, relatively few employers (10%) believe vaccines should be mandatory.
“Employers understand that by taking an active part in supporting the vaccination of employees, they can play a crucial role in ending the pandemic,” said Jeff Levin-Scherz, M.D., population health leader, Willis Towers Watson. “A common strategy for employers is to make vaccines an easy choice for employees by first helping convince them to get the vaccine and then making it easy for them to do so.”
The survey identified various actions employers are taking to facilitate employee vaccination:
“Employers are eager to improve vaccination rates, contain any further spread of the virus and bring employees back to work,” said Chantell Sell Reagan, national pharmacy community clinical leader, Willis Towers Watson. “Despite the optimism about recovery, health care will remain a top priority for employers as they seek to strengthen wellbeing programs, reemphasize preventive and mental health services, and implement new plan designs that meet the needs of a post-pandemic workforce.”
The survey also found just one in 10 employers (10%) are planning or considering requiring proof of vaccination as a condition of employment; nearly one in four (23%) are planning or considering requiring employees to get vaccinated for them to return to the worksite. Additionally, over half of respondents (55%) expect their workforces to be vaccinated by the end of 2021; however, only 30% expected the entire U.S. working population to be vaccinated this year.
A total of 446 employers participated in the 2021 Emerging Trends in Health Care Survey, which was conducted between February 23 and March 12, 2021. Respondents employ 6.3 million workers.
Willis Towers Watson (NASDAQ: WLTW) is a leading global advisory, broking and solutions company that helps clients around the world turn risk into a path for growth. With roots dating to 1828, Willis Towers Watson has 45,000 employees serving more than 140 countries and markets. We design and deliver solutions that manage risk, optimize benefits, cultivate talent, and expand the power of capital to protect and strengthen institutions and individuals. Our unique perspective allows us to see the critical intersections between talent, assets and ideas — the dynamic formula that drives business performance. Together, we unlock potential.