Updates in the Law
Lately, we’ve had several questions from employers asking about how they should approach the COVID vaccine with employees. As you might expect, many employers are not requiring their employees to be vaccinated but many are also surprised at how many employees choose not to get the vaccine voluntarily. Studies have shown that anywhere from 33% to 60% of employees are willing to get vaccinated. To improve on the numbers, some employers are looking at ways to incentivize their employees to get the vaccine. Interestingly, there was a recent study on incentives. The “COVID-19 Vaccine Incentives” study was comprised of two surveys asking Americans whether incentives from either the government or their employer would motivate them to get the COVID-19 vaccine. The study was conducted by incentives solutions leader, Blackhawk Network. In its research, Blackhawk found that 40% of respondents were unsure about getting the vaccine or simply did not plan to get it.
Here are the main findings of the study:
> Money talks. When asked their preferred incentive, not surprising, money was the top choice. More than two-thirds said they would accept a monetary incentive ranging from as little as $10 to as much as $1,000 or more. One-third of the total respondents would complete the vaccination process for a $100 incentive or less. The remaining third said that money would not influence their willingness to get the vaccine. Paid time off was a distant second choice.
> Monetary incentives are welcome in different forms. While most respondents preferred to receive their incentives via direct deposit, about 25% preferred to receive a prepaid or gift card in digital or physical form. About 10% of respondents preferred to receive digital delivery via PayPal, Zelle, or Venmo.
> Incentives drive vaccination rates among families. Receiving the COVID-19 vaccine after being encouraged by the government or an employer would not only drive people to vaccinate themselves but would also encourage half of the respondents to urge their family members to also get vaccinated.
Hopefully, this information will help you decide how to approach this complicated issue. However, as always, please feel free to contact one of our employment law attorneys if you would like to discuss the matter further.