April 16, 2021
Just over half (58%) of respondents have set a reopening date for their workplaces and 91% expect to return using a flexible or hybrid approach according to results of a March 29–April 7 joint survey HR Policy Association conducted with the Brussels European Employee Relations Group.
A majority of employers will roll out return to work on a region-by-region basis. Two-thirds of HR Policy members indicated that their return approach would be done regionally or site-by-site, while 50% of BEERG members indicated the same, with more respondents opening country-by-country.
Nearly 80% of employers will not require employees to be vaccinated to return to work. This includes 83% of HR Policy respondents and 65% of BEERG respondents, who are more likely to require certain types of employees to be vaccinated. Some companies in each response group are waiting to see how other companies are handling the issue before deciding.
Just 12% of respondents will require proof of vaccination either from a vaccination card or an electronic protocol. 60% will take employees at their word.
Travel protocols will focus on carrier requirements. A large majority of respondents from both groups (79%) will align their travel safety protocols with carrier requirements, while 41% will require traveling employees to wear masks and 15% will require employees to be vaccinated.
Majority of employers will restrict attendance at internal and external meetings. 68% of HR Policy members plan to restrict internal and external meetings while 86% of BEERG respondents expect to do the same. Nearly one-quarter of HR Policy and 14% of BEERG respondents do not plan to impose any such restrictions.
Outlook: Employer approaches are expected to adjust as circumstances and regulatory protocols change. The full results, including several anecdotal responses, are available to HR Policy members here.