How To Incentivize Your Employees To Get The COVID-19 Vaccine
By all accounts, Maryland has done a commendable job of making COVID-19 vaccines available and reopening businesses for in-person activities. Still, the number of new vaccine doses being administered nationwide has plateaued. Currently, about a third of the population of the United States is fully vaccinated, which is encouraging, but hardly enough to achieve herd immunity and prevent future surges of new infections. It is in the interest of your employees, your customers, and your finances if most or all of your employees get a COVID-19 vaccine, but your employees have the right to choose whether or not to get vaccinated. These are some ways you can provide incentives for your employees to get the vaccine. To discuss how implementing any of these strategies would affect your business, contact a Maryland business law attorney.
Offer Your Employees Paid Time Off to Get Vaccinated
Vaccine hesitancy, vaccine refusal, and the misinformation that drives these trends have been getting a lot of press, but they are not the main reason that the vaccination rate has plateaued. Lack of access to vaccines is a much bigger factor. Workers who qualify for stimulus checks cannot afford to miss work, and many of them have little or no paid leave. Vaccination sites are few enough to require some workers to miss a whole shift of work traveling to and from their vaccine appointments, and this is assuming that their vaccine side effects are mild enough that they do not have to miss any additional days of work. The people who can afford this have already gotten vaccinated.
Offering your employees paid time off for their vaccine appointments and recovery time solves this problem, but many small businesses cannot easily afford this. Therefore, the federal government is offering a tax credit to employers who give their employees paid time off for vaccinations.
Create Your Own Incentives
Besides offering paid time off, these are some other incentives that employers can use to encourage their employees to get vaccinated:
- Offer bonuses or gifts for employees who get vaccinated
- Post information about vaccines in the workplace
- Offer employees a ride to the vaccination site, either in your own vehicle or by paying for a rideshare ride
- Send email reminders about vaccine effectiveness and availability, just often enough to be annoying
You can’t force your employees to get vaccinated, but as more of them do, the others may see how much better it is to work in a place where risk of COVID-19 exposure is low. Through financial incentives or simply stating your case about not wanting to expose employees and customers to COVID-19, you can achieve greater vaccine compliance and help Maryland move to a post-pandemic business climate.
Let Us Help You Today
A Washington DC small business lawyer can help you minimize the risk of employees and customers to COVID-19 and find innovative ways to keep your business operational during the long road out of the pandemic. Contact Tobin, O’Connor & Ewing for more information.