‘A majority of companies plan to cover vaccination cost fully or partly for staff’

A recent survey by Willis Towers Watson found that 50% of companies planned to facilitate vaccination for not only employees, but also their dependants

Early this month, the Union Government allowed vaccination at the workplace, but in a survey, 80% of the employers expressed their preference for the vaccination being carried out at a third-party clinic or hospital.

One-hundred-and-fifty employers participated in the survey conducted by advisory, broking and solutions company Willis Towers Watson in April to gauge vaccination trends in India. Over 50% of the employers said they planned to facilitate vaccination for their employees as well as their dependents.

Almost all the surveyed employers (97%) had plans to cover or subsidise the vaccination cost for their employees, while 78% plan to do so for the spouse/partner; 74% for the children and 59% for the parents.

While 73% of the participating companies will cover the cost of vaccination, 22% would cover administration expense and only 10% of the cost of logistics such as travel expenses.

With regard to the budget allocation for this crucial wellness initiative, 23% of the companies said that vaccination-related costs would be covered from the existing employee benefits budget while 37% planed to allocate a separate budget. More than 70% of the employers planned to include vaccination costs in their insurance programmes and 15% in the “OPD benefits”, the report said.

To give impetus to the vaccination drive as well to create awareness, 91% planned to communicate the benefits of vaccination and 82% planned to develop formal policies and procedures to make it easier for employees to get the jab.

Interestingly, 60% planned to establish a long-term policy where proof of vaccination would be required as a condition for returning to in-person work.

Offering incentives

Forty per cent of the surveyed companies planned to offer incentives to employees to get vaccinated. Fifty-seven per cent of the respondents planned to give additional sick leave for vaccination-related reactions; and 46% were considering paying for the time spent getting vaccinated; and 23% were for offering financial incentives.

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