Companies in the food industry continue to tout COVID-19 vaccination benefits for their workforces, with Lidl US now offering a new initiative that provides $200 in extra pay to all U.S. employees who choose to receive the vaccine. The additional payment aims to offset the costs associated with vaccine administration, including travel costs and child care.
“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 US. “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 health care 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 continues to work with state and local officials to ensure that workers are a priority for vaccine distribution.
According to an internal survey, Lidl employees are eager to receive the vaccine. Nearly eight in 10 of them plan to get the vaccine as soon as it became available. The food retailer is providing employees with information about vaccine availability in their respective areas and will accommodate employee schedules for appointments.
This new initiative builds on Lidl’s 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, the retailer developed a first-in-the-industry program with CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield to give all of its employees access to comprehensive COVID-19 medical coverage at no cost.
Providing incentives for front-line employees to get vaccinated for COVID-19 is trending in food-related companies. For example, San Francisco-based grocery delivery service Instacart introduced a Vaccine Support Stipend, while Goodlettsville, Tennessee-based Dollar General’s financial assistance initiative also makes it easier for its workers to get vaccinated. More recently, Batavia, Illinois-based Aldi U.S. said it will provide employees with two hours of pay for each vaccine dose they receive, up to four hours total.
Neckarsulm, Germany-based Lidl operates about 11,200 stores in 32 countries, employing more than 310,000 employees worldwide. In the United States, the Arlington, Virginia-based grocer has more than 125 stores in nine East Coast states. The company is No. 96 on the PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2020 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America. With more than 2,000 stores across 37 states. Aldi U.S. is No. 26 on PG’s list, while Dollar General is No. 16, with16,720 stores in 46 states.