Many of Apple's employees outside of China switched to remote work arrangements in March of last year when COVID-19 kicked in, forcing everyone to observe social distancing in an effort to curb the spread of the virus. The company also recently delayed its plan to resume office-based setup for employees amid the growing number of Delta variant cases, as per The New York Times.
Now, Apple is said to be looking into the vaccination status of its employees. The Verge reporter Zoë Schiffer has said on Twitter that the firm is asking its employees in specific locations whether they have been inoculated.
I'm very curious to see if Apple will require employees to get vaccinated prior to returning to office. Right now, the company is asking employees in certain locations to share their vaccination status, but not saying those who aren't vaccinated won't be able to return.— Zoë Schiffer (@ZoeSchiffer) July 29, 2021
The report stems from supposed guidance coming from Apple that states:
Apple is asking our team members in certain locations to share their current vaccination status. You can confidentially share whether you’re fully vaccinated, have had a partial dose, are not vaccinated, or do not wish to share.
Those that refuse to share their vaccination status will be presumed "unvaccinated". Schiffer noted that Apple would implement "additional health and safety protocols" for on-site employees who are not yet fully vaccinated.
Earlier this year, the Cupertino-based firm offered paid time off for employees who would agree to get full vaccination as a part of an effort to encourage them to get the vaccine. Other companies like Google, on the other hand, are requiring employees to get fully vaccinated before they can transition back to the office environments. It's not clear, however, whether Apple would demand the same from its employees.