New research by Acas has found that a quarter of British employers have not been giving their staff paid time off for COVID-19 vaccinations and have no plans to allow it.
Acas commissioned YouGov to ask businesses in Britain about whether they would be giving staff paid time for COVID vaccination appointments. The poll found that:
*Six out of ten (59%) have been giving staff paid time off;
*4% have not been doing it but plan to in the future; and
*18% did not know.
Acas advice is that employers should support staff to get the vaccine once it is offered to them. This support could include ensuring employees have paid time off for COVID vaccine reasons.
Susan Clews, Acas Chief Executive, said:
“The vaccine rollout programme has gone well and our survey reveals that most employers have allowed staff paid time off to get the jab but a quarter have not.
“Our study also reveals that a similar number of bosses have not paid full company sick pay to staff who have been unable to work due to side effects from the vaccine.
“It’s in businesses best interests to have a vaccine policy that supports staff to take time off as fully vaccinated workers are less likely to need longer periods of time off work to recover from COVID-19.”
The poll also asked businesses about whether they would be paying full company sick pay to staff who are off sick with COVID vaccine side effects. It found that:
*A quarter (26%) had not been paying full company sick pay and had no plans to change;
*Half (50%) were already paying full sick pay;
*6% have not been doing it but plan to in the future; and
*12% did not know.
To support staff to get the vaccine, Acas advice is that employers may want to consider paid time off for vaccination appointments and paying staff their usual rate of pay if they are off sick with vaccine side effects.
Some organisations may have a review or ‘trigger’ point to keep track of sickness absence for their staff. Acas advice is that employers could consider not counting vaccine-related time off sick as part of this absence record system.
For Acas’s full advice, please see: www.acas.org.uk/coronavirusvaccine