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Covid Vaccination Incentives: The Risks And Rewards

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СообщениеДобавлено: 17.01.2021 11:09    Заголовок сообщения: Covid Vaccination Incentives: The Risks And Rewards Ответить с цитатой

Covid Vaccination Incentives: The Risks And Rewards For Employers

Offering incentives to workers to get their vaccine shots for Covid-19 — as Dollar General, Trader Joe’s, and Instacart said they plan to do—appears to be a generous and important gesture that can help address the worsening pandemic. But is the carrot and stick approach right for all companies?

Dr. Bob Bollinger, a professor of infectious diseases at Johns Hopkins University, said, “To stop this epidemic and get us all back to a new normal as soon as possible, we will need all segments of society to increase community uptake of vaccination[s].

“Companies have an important opportunity to contribute to this effort. Incentives could certainly be considered as one component of a company’s broad and comprehensive strategy to encourage and support vaccination of their employees,” he noted.

Offering Multiple Incentives
John Ross, the CEO of Test Prep Insight, an online education company with 10 employees, offers them more than one incentive. Because he heard some people may experience side defects after their second shot, “I’m giving employees the day off after they get their second dose of the vaccine, plus the two following days off paid, regardless of whether they actually have a reaction.”

After his employees receive their second shot, Ross said he will give each of them a $100 gift card for Starbucks, Amazon or REI. Then, after all the workers have received the vaccine, “I will take them all out to dinner at a nice steakhouse, where I [will] pick up the tab. They can order whatever they want—[appetizers], wine, surf and turf—I don't care. I am hoping this last incentive creates some peer pressure amongst employees, as I really want them all to get the vaccine.”

Ross started offering the incentives on January 1. “The response has been overwhelmingly positive, and every one of our 10 employees has indicated a willingness to participate and get their vaccine.”

His approach, of course, might not work for cash-strapped companies and organizations with a large number of employees.

Saying No To Incentives
Some business executives, however, are not eager to jump on the vaccine incentives bandwagon.

Bryan Towey is the founder and CEO of The Bryan Towey Organization, which has over 100 employees around the world. “My organization will not be offering incentives to employees who choose to take the vaccine. The decision to take a vaccine is personal and should not involve outside influences. While many companies may be antsy to get back to normal as soon as possible, getting involved with the medical decisions of employees is a slippery slope,” he said.

Startup company Get Golden Visa decided against offering incentives. After considering the benefits and disadvantages, Charles Taylor Harris said, “...there are the legal concerns, particularly in a liability-heaven like the U.S. We ultimately decided not to go ahead with a vaccine compensation for our employees in order not to cause any liability issues. “

Harris, who is a director of the company, predicted that,”It won't be long before we start seeing legal ads reading ‘If you received the Covid-19 vaccine in 2021, you may be entitled to compensation.’”

A Debatable Issue
Joseph Slater, a law professor labor at The University of Toledo College of Law, said, “Whether or not paying employees to get Covid-19 vaccinations is a good policy for employers is debatable.”

Impacting The Bottomline
“On one hand, the country is facing an unprecedented public health crisis, and widespread vaccinations are the only way—short of literally millions of deaths in the U.S. alone—to alleviate the crisis,” Slater said. “Also, certain employers may only be able to operate profitably if they can assure customers that patronizing their business will not pose significant health risks, and publicizing vaccination of staff will be one effective way to make such assurances.

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