Firms offer flexible working and paid time off in push for Covid vaccines

Flexible working to attend jab appointments and paid time off for side effects are two of the measures being used by companies to encourage employees to have the coronavirus vaccination.

Amazon, Sky, Molson Coors and Three UK are the latest firms to join the Government’s drive to push up vaccination rates, as a further 35,707 lab-confirmed Covid-19 cases were recorded in the UK as of 9am on Friday, the highest daily increase since January 22.

They join other organisations including Asda, Slimming World, Metro Bank, Santander, Nationwide Building Society, Severn Trent and Merlin Entertainments, who are pushing a positive vaccination message including offering flexibility for staff receiving the vaccine during working hours.

They have also committed to giving paid time off for employees, as well as sick pay, for anyone who suffers from side effects such as fever or a headache.

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LinkedIn has also committed resources and free advertising to help target chief executives and directors to support their staff and encourage employees to get both vaccine doses.

Vaccines Minister Nadhim Zahawi held a roundtable on Thursday this week with the businesses who have signed up to the employer coalition to thank them for supporting the largest vaccination programme in UK history and called on all UK businesses to join the push.

He said: “We’re extremely grateful to all the brilliant businesses who have supported the vaccination programme so far and we’re calling on every employer in the UK to join us in the final push to get the UK vaccinated.

“Our best chance of living with this virus safely is by working together, with everyone playing their part and getting both doses of their vaccine.”

John Boumphrey, Amazon’s UK country manager, said: “Amazon employees receive paid time off to get vaccinated so they can continue to keep themselves, their colleagues and their communities safe.

“Additionally, working closely with local health authorities, we have also hosted vaccination clinics at several of our sites across the country.”