Number of the day: PTO for COVID-19 vaccination

More employers are offering, or plan to offer, paid time off so workers can get shots.
By: | April 23, 2021 • 2 min read

43: Percentage of organizations that are offering, or plan to offer, paid time off so employees can get vaccinated against COVID-19

More than four in 10 employers are offering paid time off for employees to get vaccinated against COVID-19, according to research from human capital research firm i4cp. Another 19% say such an offering is under consideration. The data is based on input from i4cp’s monthly “Getting Employees Vaccinated” survey of HR leaders and other business professionals.

What it means to HR leaders

The survey findings—from March—point to growing interest in paid time off policies in regard to COVID-19 vaccination. The numbers represent an increase from i4cp’s February survey, which found that 31% were or are planning to offer paid time off. At the time, 34% said the policy was under consideration.

Hear from i4cp’s Carol Morrison on employer vaccination policy at HRE’s virtual (and free!) Health & Benefits Leadership Conference, held May 11-13. Register here.

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It’s not surprising that as vaccines become more widely available, employers are turning to ways to encourage and incentive workers to get inoculated; experts say that such offers are a good way to entice employers. Several employers—including Aldi, Dollar General, Darden Restaurants and Trader Joe’s—are offering four hours of pay total for getting the two doses. Aon is offering all of its some 50,000 employees two days of paid time off for each injection.

Related: Still weighing vaccine incentives? Here’s what 12 employers have done

It’s likely that the percentage of employers that offer paid time off for vaccination will grow in the coming weeks. President Biden this week urged employers to give their employees paid time off to get vaccinated against COVID-19. “I’m calling on every employer, large and small, in every state to give employees the time off they need—with pay—to get vaccinated and any time they need—with pay—to recover if they’re feeling under the weather after the shot,” he said Wednesday during remarks at the White House. “No working American should lose a single dollar from their paycheck because they chose to fulfill their patriotic duty of getting vaccinated.”

As a part of that call for time off to get vaccinated, Biden announced a new tax credit to fully offset the cost for small businesses and nonprofits providing paid leave for employees to get vaccinated. For businesses and nonprofits with fewer than 500 employees, the tax credit will cover paid leave for up to $511 per day for up to 10 workdays, or 80 work hours, taken between April 1 and Sept. 30.

Related: Biden to employers: Give time off for COVID-19 vaccinations

“As we move into the vaccination campaign focused on working-age adults, one concern I’ve heard from so many Americans is that they can’t afford to take the time off to get vaccinated or lose a day’s work because they are feeling slightly under the weather after their shot,” Biden said.

Kathryn Mayer is HRE’s benefits editor and chair of the Health & Benefits Leadership Conference. She has covered benefits for the better part of a decade, and her stories have won multiple awards, including a Jesse H. Neal Award and honors from the American Society of Business Publication Editors and the National Federation of Press Women. She holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Denver. She can be reached at kmayer@lrp.com.

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