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Grocery store chain LIDL giving employees paid time off to get coronavirus vaccine

Grocery store chain LIDL giving employees paid time off to get coronavirus vaccine
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Grocery store chain LIDL announced Wednesday that it will give employees paid time off and adjust its employees’ schedules in order for them to get the coronavirus vaccine. 

The company is offering $200 extra pay to encourage employees to get the vaccine and to cover the cost of travel and child care while they are getting it. 

“We are proud to provide our employees the resources they need to receive the COVID-19 vaccine free of any obstacles,” said Johannes Fieber, CEO of Lidl US. “From the outset of the pandemic, we have worked hard to put the health and safety of our employees first. From offering free COVID-19 healthcare to our entire workforce, to installing hospital-grade air filtration in our stores and warehouses to assure cleaner and healthier air, Lidl has made it a priority to adapt our policies to work better for our people during this pandemic."

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"We are proud to do so again today to ensure that every team member who wants to get vaccinated is able to do so as soon as possible," Fieber added.

The company did an internal survey and found that 80 percent of its employees are ready to get the vaccine when it becomes available to them. LIDL said it is working with local and state officials to advocate for workers to be a priority when it comes to distributing the vaccine. 

LIDL is not alone in these efforts; Aldi, Dollar General, Trader Joe’s and Instacart have all announced that they will be offering extra pay and flexible schedules so their employees can get the vaccine. 

Trader Joe’s will be giving employees two extra hours of pay, Instacart will give its staff a $25 stipend, and Dollar General is offering four extra hours of pay for employees willing to get the vaccine. 

It is not clear when these workers will be eligible for the vaccine. Health professionals and the elderly have been prioritized in the rollout of the vaccine, which has been much slower than officials expected. 

LIDL says it has been supporting its employees since the start of the pandemic. The company has offered its full and part-time employees comprehensive medical coverage and also developed a program with CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield to give its employees no-cost comprehensive coronavirus medical coverage.