Ford postpones hybrid return-to-work plan to March amid COVID uncertainty, Auto News, ET Auto
The No.2 U.S. automaker has said it will begin a pilot phase for some employees in February and March. The company had previously said it would not return to work under a hybrid work model – a combination of on-site and remote work – until January. Ford had demanded that most of its American workers be vaccinated against COVID-19 by January 4.
âThe state of the COVID-19 virus remains fluid, and despite the success of our ongoing safety protocols and increasing vaccination rates, we are shifting the start date of the hybrid working model to March,â said Ford in an emailed statement.
This covers non-site Ford employees and does not include factory workers represented by the United Auto Workers union. The Detroit Three union and automakers have recommended vaccines and booster shots for these workers, but these are not mandatory. Wearing a mask to curb the spread of COVID in plants remains mandatory, however.
Companies are starting to consider changing their return-to-office plans and overall work models for employees due to the emergence of the new variant of the coronavirus, Omicron. Businesses are struggling to understand how the variant might affect their operations and profits, and many are taking a wait-and-see stance when assessing its spread and potential harm.
Alphabet Inc’s Google last week said it was indefinitely pushing its January back-to-work plan around the world amid concerns over Omicron and some resistance to the company’s imposed vaccinations.
General Motors Co said Monday it had yet to set an official return-to-work date for salaried employees. In April, he put in place “Work Right,” a plan under which “teams have the flexibility to work where they can have the most impact.”
The largest US automaker said “in light of the Omicron variant, we are monitoring the situation closely and continuing to engage with multiple internal and external stakeholders.” GM has yet to impose vaccines on its employees.
Stellantis NV, which requires all of its 14,000 unrepresented U.S. salaried employees to be fully immunized by Jan. 5, said on Monday the company was moving “towards a flexible and agile work environment that allows our team to meet challenges. challenges and opportunities that get ahead. âDubbed theâ New Era of Agility âpilot program for North America, it is expected to begin in early 2022.
Stellantis envisions a hybrid working model, with employees spending around 70% of their time working remotely and 30% in offices.