Lidl U.S. is joining a growing list of food retailers incentivizing workers to receive COVID-19 vaccinations.
The Arlington, Va.-based discounter said it would provide $200 in pay to workers, saying the bonus would help defray costs associated with vaccine administration, including travel costs and child care. Lidl also said it would accommodate worker schedules for vaccine appointments.
Like other retailers to have announced similar inducements, Lidl said it was encouraging but not requiring that its workers be vaccinated. It said an internal survey indicated that nearly 8 in 10 of its workers intend to get the vaccine as soon as it became available.
Lidl said its initiative builds on an ongoing effort to protect the health of its employees. Last January, Lidl began to offer comprehensive medical coverage to all full- and part-time employees, regardless of the number of hours they work per week. In March, Lidl developed a first-in-the-industry program with CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield to give all its employees access to comprehensive COVID-19 medical coverage at no cost.
“We are proud to provide our employees the resources they need to receive the COVID-19 vaccine free of any obstacles,” said Johannes Fieber, CEO of Lidl U.S., in a statement. “From the outset of the pandemic, we have worked hard to put the health and safety of our employees first. From offering free COVID-19 healthcare to our entire workforce, to installing hospital-grade air filtration in our stores and warehouses to assure cleaner and healthier air, Lidl has made it a priority to adapt our policies to work better for our people during this pandemic. We are proud to do so again today to ensure that every team member who wants to get vaccinated is able to do so as soon as possible.”
Lidl, the U.S. division of Germany’s Schwarz Group, operates more than 125 stores on the East Coast. Its newest unit opens this week in sandy Springs, Ga.