One in four employees not granted time off for COVID jabs

A quarter of employers are not granting workers paid time off to get Covid-19 vaccinations, according to a survey from conciliation service Acas. A similar proportion are not providing company sick pay to employees who need to take time off due to the vaccine’s side effects, it found. Half of those surveyed for Acas’ research with YouGov said that they did offer full sick pay if workers suffered side effects, and 6% said they were not at present but planned to do so in the future. 

One in eight employers did not know whether they offered staff paid time off to take the vaccines, while 18% did not know if it was available for those with side effects, according to Acas.  Acas guidance on supporting staff to receive the vaccine is to offer paid time off for appointments and to pay employees their usual rate if they need to be away from work due to side effects. It also recommends that if organisations have a “trigger” point that keeps track of sickness absence they could consider not counting vaccine-related time off as part of the absence record system. 

The vaccine rollout programme has gone well and the survey reveals that most employers have allowed staff paid time off to get the jab but a quarter have not. The 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. 

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