Several countries have enforced a ‘no jabs, no jobs’ policy for all workers, including new recruits, and many companies in India are following the same route by ensuring employees get vaccinated, to the point of organising vaccination drives, and booking their slots for their families as well.
Noida-based ONVU Technologies had made vaccination compulsory to ensure safety of all internal and external stakeholders. Abhishek Kumar, Regional Director, ONVU Technologies, says, “All our employees in India are vaccinated, and Covid protocols in place. The country is moving effectively towards herd immunity. We don’t ask new recruits whether they are vaccinated or not, but once onboard, we request them to get vaccinated.” ONVU had created a WhatsApp group so when an employee got a Covid shot, they posted a vaxxy (vaccine selfie) and encouraged others. “Our HR kept tabs on the CoWin app for open slots and booked these for us. If the cases cross 50,000, we will shut the physical operations and start working from home again,” adds Kumar.
Similarly, Kartik Singhal, Founder of O2 Cure, Gurugram, made an in-house group. “As part of it, if anybody from our teams in India wanted to get vaccinated, we arranged it for them. We vaccinated 2,000 people, of which, 800 were ours and 1,200 were their families. For those yet to get their second dose, if they cannot find a vaccination centre, we will do it for them,” says Singhal, adding, “Many employees were hesitant to get vaccinated. So, our panel of four doctors did webinars for the staff on vaccination methods, and how it’s the first weapon against Covid,” says Singhal.
The whole team of Gurugram-based PitchOne PR is fully vaccinated, but still they don’t have plans to open offices for another year. PitchOne PR Founder Shipra Jena says, “At this stage, I would like to take preventive measures. With the looming fear of black fungus in Delhi/NCR and the speculation of a third wave, I want to keep everyone safe, plus the vaccine has 70-78 per cent efficacy. I have not made vaccination mandatory for new recruits, for a simple reason that the office is not yet functional.”
Shreya Sabharwal, Founder and CEO, Squarefork, Jhandewalan, is working towards having all 16 people in her team get both doses. “We are following sanitisation, social distancing, and corporate rituals as per government rules, and only calling employees who are fully vaccinated, which is about 60 per cent. Those yet to get their second dose, have been advised to join after getting it,” she adds.
Delhi-registered Media Corridors have teams working remotely, but have made vaccination a high priority. Ayushi Arora, Director and CEO, says, “Our team strength is 25. We are working from home, but have made vaccination compulsory because our staff ’s safety is our priority.” She feels it’s not ethical to hire based on a candidate’s vaccination history. “Our hiring philosophy shall always centre on academic background, communications expertise, writing enthusiasm, go-getter attitude and culture fitment. What should be the topic of discussion is the importance of getting the jab,” adds Arora.
All clients of GALF, a corporate wellness aggregator, conducted vaccination camps for their employees and their families too.
Amit Vasistha, Founder and CEO, says, "Almost all employees have taken at least one jab. Employees who have declined to get vaccinated are being offered counselling."
He adds, "Withholding salaries does not sound legitimate at any cost and no employer should be doing that as it can even have severe legal implications. But being vaccinated is not a pre-qualifier for hiring any resources or suppliers by either GALF or its customers."
But for Kartik of O2 Cure asking new recruits whether they are vaccinated is important because it’s necessary to gauge their views on vaccination. “We also have adopted technologies that are proven to stop the spread. One of our technologies has been tested by ICMR for neutralisation of virus, and these are being used in all our offices.”