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Employer Strategies for Encouraging Vaccination

While mandating the vaccine for some employers is vital based on the potential risks, for others, encouraging vaccination rather than requiring it, might be the right path.

Employers may consider the following strategies and tools to help encourage their employees to obtain the vaccine:

  • Lead by example. When leadership communicates their support, employees may follow. Even better,

    actions speak louder than words"

    Take pictures or videos of the leadership team getting vaccinated and share them with your employees.

  • Educate employees. Many employees feel unsure about the safety of the COVID-19 vaccine. Effective communication about the safety can help put employees’ minds at ease and indirectly promote vaccination. The CDC website has numerous resources and information on vaccination safety.
  • Pay employees for their time. Employers may want to consider giving employees additional time off, such as a personal day. An extra personal day will boost morale and further encourage vaccination.
  • If you have a wellness program, look at incorporating COVID-19 vaccination into your program. For example, employees may be able to earn points for healthy behaviors and vaccination could be a great point earner.
  • Many employers are exploring cash bonuses or other cash programs to those who choose to obtain the vaccine. The Biden administration is currently reviewing this option and the legal ramifications. Another option is offering gift cards or prizes for those who get vaccinated. Cash bonuses could be offered to individual employees or companies could offer a specific reward to all employees if the organization achieves a target vaccinate rate, for example 90%. Employers should be cautioned that cash bonuses and gift cards are subject to appropriate federal and state tax withholding by the recipient.

While many employers will be looking to encourage the vaccine, any such programs or communications should not be viewed as discriminatory, coercing the employee or in violation of the American with Disabilities Act, Title VII or any other state or federal laws. Additionally, the administration is reviewing cash and bonus options, so stay tuned to keep abreast of the the latest developments.

For more information about the COVID-19 vaccine, visit OneDigital’s Coronavirus Hub.

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