Indy Chamber puts out playbook on vaccines and business for employers

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(Photo by Frederic J. BROWN / AFP) (Photo by FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP via Getty Images)

INDIANAPOLIS — The Indy Chamber is putting out a playbook on vaccines and businesses for employers to try and help.

It has legal guidance on what they can and can’t mandate along with guidance on how to market the idea to employees. There are also suggestions of ways to help make it easier for employees to get vaccinated, like giving them time off to do it.

“If you’re an employer who has a lot of hourly employees, that’s a population that’s had trouble going out and getting vaccinated. One of the things we know helps a lot is granting those employees PTO, let them leave so they can go get vaccinated during the day,” said Taylor Hughes, Director of Strategy, Policy, and Special Projects for Indy Chamber. “Under the American Rescue Plan, you can actually get tax credits for the wages that you pay when people are on leave for vaccination.”

Officials say the biggest concern for employers right now is trying to balance the need to get people with fears it could hurt their hiring prospects during the ongoing labor shortage.

“What any company is trying to figure out how to balance is how do I make sure that I minimize risk for the company, maximize the protection for my workforce, but also don’t make it harder to find workers to fill the shifts and hours and things. So balancing those three categories is a really critical piece of all of this,” Hughes said.

The Vaccinations Employer Playbook is organized around six key recommendations to help employers increase workplace vaccinations:

  • Encourage all eligible employees to get vaccinated as soon as possible.
  • Provide PTO to all employees for vaccination, side-effect recovery, and family-member vaccination.
  • Know your workforce’s vaccination rate and implement COVID-19 safety protocols accordingly.
  • Understand legal guardrails on vaccine incentives, mandates, and employee medical information.
  • Host on-site vaccination clinics for your workforce and community.
  • Partner with community organizations to maximize reach and enhance credibility. 

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