RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – Lidl is joining retailers and grocery stores across the country offering incentives to its employees in exchange for receiving the COVID-19 vaccine shot.
As state and federal governments seek to ramp up vaccine distribution, Lidl said it is providing an extra $200 in pay to encourage all of its U.S. employees to get the shot.
The company said the initiative will help “offset the costs associated with vaccine administration, including travel costs and childcare.”
“What we found is an overwhelming majority, around eight out of 10 employees, said that they want to get it right away,” said Will Harwood, Director of Communications for Lidl U.S.
“Any of the employees that wants to get the vaccine, we can remove any of the financial barriers as far as child care or commuting to it,” he added.
“This commitment exceeds incentives offered by other retailers,” a spokesperson for Lidl said in a release.
Some, however, would like to see a greater incentive for getting the shot.
“I don’t think $200 is enough because it is a big risk. I think, hey, go for it. Your body, your decision,” said Tasha Knowles as she stood in the parking lot of a Lidl location in Raleigh.
Lidl joins other companies in incentivizing the vaccine. Trader Joe’s recently said it would give its employees two hours of pay per dose of the vaccine received. Aldi also announced it would cover associated costs, would be flexible with scheduling, and provide two hours of pay to employees who get vaccinated.
“That’s great because they are essential workers. They are going to be in and out with people here and there,” said Aamna Salim as she was leaving Trader Joe’s in Raleigh.
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 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 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 said it would not make vaccination mandatory for employees.
“We’ve made such a big priority in all that we do to put health and safety first,” Harwood said.