Monday 14 June 2021 8:21 am

CMI study: Covid jabs and flexible working divide could fuel staff exodus

Covid-19 jabs could fuel a mass exodus from the workplace, a Chartered Management Institute (CMI) study has warned, as a divide between the unvaccinated and the vaccinated emerges.

As the UK’s planned ‘Freedom Day’ on 21 June becomes less likely with reports, a poll conducted by the CMI found that 24 per cent of managers would only work with those who had received both jabs.

While Baby Boomers are more likely than Gen Z and Millennials to work with certain employees depending on their vaccination status.

“This new research shows some of the other complexities that managers face and need to navigate on the return to their workplaces,” CMI chief executive Ann Francke said.

As the results revealed “the real possibility of an employee exodus if the wishes of workers are not respected,” Francke added.

The potential delay to Freedom Day means people will still be encouraged to work from home where possible.

With full-time office life pushed back another four weeks, it may alleviate some of the pandemic-induced pressure on the workplace.

Just over one in five of the managers who took part in the poll said that they would share a workplace with those who had not been vaccinated or taken a lateral flow test.

Meanwhile, eight per cent of managers said they were prepared to work with employees who had at least one vaccination.

Nearly half of managers, 40 per cent, said they would work with colleagues without jabs if they had a negative Covid-19 test.

Staff exodus

Flexible working has become a key talking point within the future of work discussion.

For some, more than others, flexible working has been an opportunity to spend more time with children while cutting down on commuting costs and emissions.

48 per cent of managers are also concerned about a staff exodus unless employees are able to keep some form of flexible working.

“It’s imperative that managers talk to their teams, build trust and respect their medical decisions and their views on the return to the workplace,” the CMI boss continued.

“Employers must develop flexible, inclusive and tolerant ways of working as we return to the workplace.”