Apple still has not mandated COVID-19 vaccines for its employees. While other tech companies, like Google and Facebook, are insisting employees get the vaccine, Cupertino has not. However, Apple employees could face more frequent COVID-19 testing, until they do get the vaccine.
Apple’s Latest Response to the Coronavirus Pandemic
Through an internal vaccination campaign, Apple began asking its employees to provide details on their vaccination status. While the company does not require its employees get vaccinated, Cupertino strongly recommends the shot. The company has partnered with Walgreens to offer on-site vaccinations in the San Francisco Bay Area and Austin, Texas. Apple also offers its employees paid time off for their vaccine appointments.
During a recent company-wide town hall meeting, Apple discussed an upcoming testing mandate. Unvaccinated employees will face more frequent COVID-19 tests. Employees who get vaccinated only need occasional coronavirus tests. These COVID-19 screenings will happen especially when going into an office or Apple Retail Store.
Mirroring the Federal Government’s “Get the Vaccine” Mandate
Recently, the Biden administration made a push to increase vaccination rates. This move established an OSHA standard for all companies of 100 people or more to require either immunization or weekly testing. Apple’s updated guidelines appear to line up with that new standard.
During the town hall meeting, Apple CEO Tim Cook spoke about plans for a hybrid work model going forward. Cook told employees that ”we need to learn” about a hybrid workplace after years of being entirely in the office and then at home for the past 18 months.
Apple will be giving all of its employees an extra three days off work next quarter. US employees will get those days off during the week of Thanksgiving, while teams in other countries set their own dates.
Most corporate employees still work from home, and will not return to the office until January 2022, at the earliest.