One in four employers have not given paid time off for vaccines

New research has found that a quarter of British employers have not been giving their staff paid time off for Covid-19 (Coronavirus) vaccinations and have no plans to allow it.

The Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (Acas) commissioned YouGov to ask businesses in Britain about whether they would be allowing staff to take paid time off for Covid-19 vaccination appointments.

The results highlighted that six out of ten (59%) have been doing so, 4% have not been doing it but plan to in the future and 18% did not know.

The poll also asked businesses whether they would be paying full company sick pay to staff who are off sick with Covid-19 vaccine side effects. Findings showed that a quarter (26%) had not been paying it and had no plans to change, 50% were already paying it, 6% have not been doing it but plan to in the future, and 12% did not know.

As a result of this, Acas has offered employers advice on how to support staff to get the vaccine, suggesting they 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.

Susan Clews, Acas chief executive, commented that while the vaccine rollout programme has gone well, the survey revealed that most employers have allowed staff paid time off to get the jab but some 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 is 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,” she said.