How support for vaccine mandates and masks at work varies around the world

Backing for mandates was generally highest in East and South Asia, Saudi Arabia and Latin America

Support for workplace mandates was lowest in Central, Eastern and Northern Europe, and the US. Getty

Workers around the world generally accept Covid-19 regulations in the workplace but attitudes vary widely with on-the-job health and related behaviour, a survey has found.

There was widespread support for protective workplace mandates but also big differences on how far they should go, the research for World Economic Forum found.

“Staying the course with safety measures that we know make a difference – vaccines, masks, testing – is incredibly important as we navigate this complex pandemic,” said Genya Dana, head of health at the World Economic Forum.

“We know that employers have had to assume many new responsibilities with regard to worker health and well-being since the start of the pandemic, and count on them as a trusted partner in this journey.”

In many countries, the view of workers reflected the way their nation has carried out workplace Covid-19 mandates.

Support for vaccination, testing, and mask-wearing mandates was generally highest in East and South Asia, Saudi Arabia and Latin America.

Support was lowest in Central, Eastern and Northern Europe, and the US.

The countries where workers are most supportive of workplace vaccination mandates are also the ones where workers are most likely to say they would get vaccinated if it was a requirement to keep their job.

On average, 68 per cent of workers said they would be vaccinated in this scenario. That rose to about 80 per cent in China, Singapore and South Korea.

But the figure was down to about 50 per cent in Russia, Poland and Romania.

Globally, 12 per cent of workers would choose frequent testing instead.

In Russia, Turkey, and the Netherlands, the proportion of workers who would seek to evade getting vaccinated or tested while still keeping their jobs was about double the global average of 9 per cent.

In Romania, Hungary and the US, more than twice as many say they would quit their job or find another than the average 5 per cent.

There were only seven countries where most workers would be comfortable working without protective mandates – Russia, Poland, Denmark, Hungary, Sweden, Switzerland and the US.

In China, only 12 per cent of workers say they would be comfortable in this scenario.

The study conducted by Ipsos interviewed nearly 14,500 employed adults in 33 countries between October 22 and November 5, 2021, before the emergence of the Omicron variant.

Updated: December 9th 2021, 7:54 PM