BATON ROUGE, La. (BR Proud) — More companies are incentivizing employees to receive the Covid-19 vaccine with payments and extra time away from work.
Instacart announced the “Covid-19 Vaccine Support Stipend” this week. Starting Feb. 1, the grocery delivery service will pay $25 to all shift leads, in-store shoppers and full-service shoppers who receive the vaccine.
“Our goal with the introduction of our new Vaccine Support Stipend is to ensure that, when the time comes, Instacart shoppers don’t have to choose between earning income as an essential service provider or getting vaccinated,” said Apoorva Mehta, founder and CEO of Instacart.
As of now, Instacart shoppers are not viewed as essential workers like in-store grocery workers, who are recommended by the Centers for Disease Control to be included in phase 1b of the vaccine rollout.
Instacart almost doubled the number of independent contractors it employs to nearly 500,000 during the pandemic.
Dollar General announced Jan. 13 that it will give a one-time payment equal to four hours of pay to frontline hourly team members after receiving a completed COVID-19 vaccination. The discount chain said it has about 157,000 workers.
Trader Joe’s, which employs more than 50,000 workers, said they will reimburse employees with two hours of pay per dose of the vaccine received. The company said it will also ensure workers are given flexibility with their schedules in order to get vaccinated.
Companies can mandate their workers to get the Covid-19 vaccine (with exceptions for medical and religious reasons), according to guidance from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.