These companies are offering up cash incentives for employees who get vaccinated against COVID-19
Canadian cash is shown: (iStock)
TORONTO -- Despite a majority of Canadians rolling up their sleeves for the COVID-19 vaccine some companies are offering cash incentives for employees or potential new hires who may still be hesitant.
Amazon Canada, which saw it’s Brampton fulfillment centre ordered to cease operations in March following an outbreak among its workforce, is offering a bonus to employees who provide proof they are fully vaccinated.
The move comes as the e-commerce giant looks to bolster its Canadian workforce hiring 15,000 full and part-time employees through the fall.
“We strongly believe that the best way to protect our front-line employees and communities from COVID-19 is through vaccinations. We offer a $100 benefit to new hires and current employees to encourage them to do so,” said David Bauer, Head of Communications for Amazon Canada, in a statement to CTV News Toronto.
Ottawa retailer Bushtukah is taking a similar approach and has offered its more than 120 employees a $500 bonus to get fully vaccinated. According to the company, roughly 90 per cent of employees were already vaccinated before the announcement was made last month.
“We’re trying to make a statement to our staff and customers we’re firmly behind public health measures,” said owner Bob Laughton.
Laughton says since announcing the bonus, most of his employees are now fully vaccinated and the measure has also restored consumer confidence.
“We certainly pick up new customers – we have people come into the building indicating they’ve come to shop with us for the first time specifically because of the initiative."
EACOM Timber Corporation, which operates in Northern Ontario and Quebec, rolled out a cash incentive program in May as a reward for employees and contractors who got the shot.
The confidential program includes an incentive of $200 for the first dose, $150 for the second, or $350 for a single-shot vaccine.
“We are committed to offering safe working environments for all members of our staff and business partners, as well as contributing to vaccination efforts in our communities,” said EACOM president and CEO Kevin Edgson. “As a leadership team, we felt it was our duty to achieve a high target vaccination level at our facilities and that offering a cash incentive, in a confidential and equitable manner, would be a good option.”
The company says the incentive will be available until the end of 2021.
Experts suggest offering the incentive is a shor-term solution as long as it’s done ethically.
“When we look at this in the larger context of what’s going on with vaccine mandates, I see this as very, very gentle intervention,” said Bioethicist Kerry Bowman. “I would argue this is a more positive action that will create more positive feelings amongst people instead of division – you’re not pressuring, you’re offering an incentive.”
Bowman suggesting it could have a long-term benefit if employees who are not fully vaccinated take advantage of the incentives being offered.
“It’s a positive thrust towards increased vaccination levels without coercion.”