23 Sep 2021

Corporates add financial incentives for employees to get vaccinated

2:45 pm on 23 September 2021

The drive to boost the country's Covid-19 vaccination rate is gaining more corporate buy-in, with incentives offered to employees to get protected.

No caption

Cash incentives and credit are being offered by companies. Photo: VNP / Daniela Maoate-Cox

Fully-vaccinated employees of Vodafone, Vodafone Retail and Hays contractors will be eligible for a $200 dollar broadband credit and a chance to win a new phone.

The Warehouse Group is also offering $100 to every team member who has been fully vaccinated.

Vodafone's chief executive, Jason Paris, told Morning Report the company was also giving staff a half day off to get vaccinated, as it recognised that time was a barrier faced by many.

Paris told Morning Report his company was doing all it could to make it easier for staff to get vaccinated, as well as offering financial incentives.

"It doesn't matter if you're in the elimination camp or the 'live with it' camp with Covid. Both camps rely on New Zealander getting vaccinated as quickly as possible," he said.

"Our view is the best way to do that is leading it out ourselves and looking after your people, and keeping your customers safe at the same time.

"So what we've done is look at what the barriers are for people to get vaccinated. First one was time, so every time you get vaccinated you get half a day off to help you achieve that with your whanau. We've given everyone a $200 broadband credit, so that's $200 dollars in their back pocket."

Paris said the company was also working with the Ministry of Health to have vaccinations on site by the end of October.

The Warehouse Group's human resources chief Richard Parker said hundreds of people had signed up so far to the company's initiative.

"We've given people, whether they've been vaccinated already or potentially thinking about being vaccinated," he said.

"They've got to the end of November to sign up and then we'll be looking to pay them in December. But certainly from our internet site we've had hundreds of very positive comments from staff."

The company has 11,000 employees across the country and Parker said it was hoped through hesitant to get the vaccine would be encouraged to take that step.

The company was also sharing Ministry of Health literature on vaccine facts and its safety throughout its stores.

"We've been working very closely with the Ministry of Health and we've been part of their workplace vaccination process, which saw 1400 of our people vaccinated through that programme."

Paris said his company had partnered with the Vodafone Warriors to get the message out on social media and help dispel any misinformation circulating that would put people off getting vaccinated.

Parker said the Warehouse's move was an investment in staff and the latest initiative since the Covid-19 restrictions began.

"It's one of a number of things we've done since Covid last year, when we paid our people 100 percent wages, whether they were working or not for long periods.

"We've had a lot of webinars from mental health professionals to coach people through this... a very hard time for everyone in the country."

Get the RNZ app

for ad-free news and current affairs