LONDON, U.K., 10 Aug, 2020

Three quarters of U.K. employees (74%) trust their employer to create a physically safe and healthy work environment and the vast majority (92%) of employees are at least “a little” comfortable with contact tracing led by their employer for the purpose of organisational safety. This is according to a new global survey Kronos Incorporated of 3,903 employees across 10 countries.

The survey, conducted by Workplace Intelligence asked employed adults across Australia and New Zealand, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Mexico, Netherlands, U.K., and U.S, and helps to debunk a misconception around COVID-19 contact tracing that suggests employee privacy concerns outweigh safety concerns. In fact, the vast majority of employees surveyed globally (86%) are comfortable to varying degrees with employer-led contact tracing, which, combined with education and transparent communication, may be the key to setting a risk-adverse workforce at ease.

While public narrative suggests that U.K. workers have been somewhat cautious around privacy concerns relating to contact tracing, the research discovered that, in fact, almost half of U.K. workers (46%) say they are “very” or “a great deal” comfortable with a workforce management approach to contact tracing, i.e., allowing their employer to use their work schedule records to identify and manage employees who may have been exposed to the virus at work and to help prevent onward transmission. Only 8% of U.K. respondents are “not at all” comfortable with this approach to contact tracing in the workplace.

Similarly, 71% of all workers in the U.K. stated that they are at least “somewhat” comfortable with their employer leveraging their mobile phone device for organisational safety, with 22% being “very” comfortable and 14% being “a great deal” comfortable. When asked about leveraging mobiles for the purpose of wider public safety outside of the workplace, more than three quarters of U.K. respondents (76%) are at least “somewhat” comfortable with their mobile carrier leveraging their mobile device for contact tracing.

Generationally, younger Millennials and Gen Zers1 consistently report greater comfortability with all forms of contact tracing than do their generational counterparts with at least one third (70%) of the younger generations in the U.K. trusting all forms of contact tracing. However, contrary to popular belief, at least 60% of the elder generation globally – baby boomers – are at least somewhat comfortable with contact tracing practices.

The research also found that the workforce has high expectations for their employers to create environments that are as safe as possible. Despite the vast majority of employees in the U.K. stating that they trust their employer to create a physically safe and healthy work environment (74%), Europeans are less trusting than their North American counterparts, with 67% in Germany, 63% in France, and 63% in the Netherlands in agreement versus 80% in Canada, 80% in Mexico, and 76% in the U.S.. Part-time employees are also slightly less confident in having a physically safe and healthy work environment (68%) compared to full-time employees (77%) worldwide.

“Employees have demonstrated that they do have safety concerns in the workplace, but generally trust their employer to take care of them,” said Gregg Gordon, vice president, industry, Kronos. “This should signal to employers that they have a responsibility to step up and employ all methods necessary to protect workers physically and mentally during COVID-19, regardless of whether employees have worked all through the pandemic, have recently come back to the workplace, or won’t be brought back for another few months. As the data shows, employer-driven methods of contact tracing are not unwanted among the workforce, though education and transparent communication cannot be overlooked when introducing new policies or protocols related to organisational safety.”

Supporting Resources


About Kronos Incorporated

Kronos is a leading provider of workforce management and human capital management cloud solutions. Kronos industry-centric workforce applications are purpose-built for businesses, healthcare providers, educational institutions, and government agencies of all sizes. Tens of thousands of organisations — including half of the Fortune 1000® — and more than 40 million people in over 100 countries use Kronos every day. Kronos merged with Ultimate Software on April 1, 2020, to create one of the world’s most innovative HCM and workforce management companies. Visit www.kronos.co.uk. Kronos: Workforce Innovation That Works. 

About Ultimate Software

Ultimate Software is a leading global provider of cloud human capital management (HCM) and employee experience solutions, with more than 51 million people records in the cloud. Ultimate’s award-winning UltiPro delivers HR, payroll, talent, and time and labour management, as well as HR service delivery solutions. Founded in 1990, Ultimate is headquartered in Weston, Florida, and employs more than 6,000 professionals. To learn more, visit www.ultimatesoftware.com. Ultimate Software: People First.

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Survey Methodology: Workplace Intelligence

Research findings are based on a survey conducted by Savanta, Inc. across the US between June 22 – June 30, 2020. For this survey, 3,903 domestic and international respondents were asked general questions to explore leadership and employee attitudes around trust in the workplace, digital transformation and crisis response/management. The study targeted people between the ages of 18+ and 55 years old. Respondents are recruited through a number of different mechanisms, via different sources to join the panels and participate in market research surveys. All panellists have passed a double opt-in process and complete on average 300 profiling data points prior to taking part in surveys. Respondents are invited to take part via email and are provided with a small monetary incentive for doing so. Results of any sample are subject to sampling variation. The magnitude of the variation is measurable and is affected by the number of interviews and the level of the percentages expressing the results. In this particular study, the chances are 95 in 100 that a survey result does not vary, plus or minus, by more than 1.6 percentage points from the result that would be obtained if interviews had been conducted with all persons in the universe represented by the sample.