- Lidl will provide $200 in extra pay to all employees in the United States who choose to get vaccinated against COVID-19, the German grocery chain announced Wednesday. The company will also allow workers flexibility in their work schedules to enable them to receive an inoculation.
- Nearly 80% of Lidl employees plan to get vaccinated promptly when they are able to access a shot, according to an internal survey the grocer conducted.
- Lidl is joining a growing number of grocers that have said they will support workers who receive a COVID-19 vaccine but stopped short of requiring them to do so.
Lidl’s decision to encourage workers to get vaccinated against COVID-19 closely resembles plans already laid out by other grocers. But the $200 stipend Lidl is offering sets the grocer apart, as it is considerably larger than the few hours' worth of pay most other companies are providing.
Lidl said the payments are intended to offset vaccine administration costs as well as child care and travel expenses.
Dollar General, which kicked off the trend among grocers to incentive but not require workers to receive a vaccine, has offered employees who get a shot the equivalent of four hours of extra pay. Meanwhile, Trader Joe’s reportedly plans to give workers two hours of pay per dose, a nod to the fact that the vaccines so far authorized by the government are intended to be administered in two shots several weeks apart.
Aldi plans to give hourly employees two hours of pay per dose while salaried workers will receive “scheduling flexibility." The grocer also plans to run vaccine clinics at warehouses and offices.
Instacart, which relies on gig workers to provide its delivery and pickup services, plans to give workers a $25 stipend if they receive a COVID-19 vaccine.
In addition to the payments, Lidl said it is sharing information with people on its payroll about the availability of vaccinations in their area. The company is also pressing state and local officials to give grocery workers priority access to inoculations.
Lidl drew attention early on in the pandemic with its announcement last March that it would provide a package of coronavirus-specific health benefits to new and existing workers at no charge. The benefits covered COVID-19 tests and medical care related to the virus for people without health insurance.