With COVID-19 vaccinations becoming more widely available, many employers are anxious to get their workforce protected.
Unfortunately, companies can’t require employees to get the vaccine (particularly those with a religious objection). However, employers may strongly encourage workers to do so.
How to encourage
Here are some simple ways employers can encourage their staff to get vaccinated, according to the CDC:
- Make it convenient. Is it possible to bring the vaccine to your workplace? If you have an on-site vaccine clinic, your people will be much more likely to receive it.
- Give time off. If an on-site clinic isn’t possible, do the next best thing – allow employees to take paid time off to get it elsewhere. You could even organize transportation to the vaccine location.
- Raise awareness. A simple thing every employer can do is educate their employees about the benefits of receiving the vaccine and where they can get it.
Taking it a step further, employers may want to offer incentives, such as gift cards, bonuses or other rewards. Generally, this is legal, but there are things to consider.
When deciding how much to make the incentive for, remember it needs to be enough to pique the interest of employees. On the flip side, if the incentive is too high, employees may assume that means the vaccine is risky.
It’s currently unclear if vaccine incentive programs are considered to be a wellness program by the EEOC, but it’s something to keep in mind. Employers should treat it as if it is a wellness program, meaning it must be absolutely voluntary and follow ADA regulations.