It's best if everyone has both shots of COVID-19 vaccine in indoor workplaces: Critical care doctor
As the COVID-19 vaccine rollout continues across Canada, employers are facing a difficult road ahead with bringing workers back into the office as they look for ways to ensure a safe workplace environment.
Some companies are turning to financial incentives with the hopes of convincing more employees to get vaccinated.
Quebec-based DLGL Technologies Corp. is offering $1,250 to employees who show proof of their first vaccine -- and that bonus will double after they get their second shot.
"First of all, we want to do our share with getting back to normal and relieving the health system," Jacques Guenette, President of DLGL Technologies, told BNN Bloomberg.
"We have 90 people who are going to get the bonus and it’s a fair chunk of money but no matter how many workers you have, it’s an investment in each person and there’s a good payback in the end with getting back to the office safely."
DLGL Technologies isn’t the only company that thinks cash incentives will help more Canadians get the COVID-19 shot.
Mondetta CEO Ash Modha said this strategy allows companies to encourage vaccinations without forcing their workers to get the jab.
"We knew we needed to give a bonus that was big enough to cause our staff to take notice and so far we have actually converted some people who were unsure about whether or not they were going to get it," Modha told BNN Bloomberg.
The Winnipeg-based activewear maker is offering a $300 bonus to any of its staff in Canada who decide to get vaccinated.
But, Modha said the best part about the incentive is the vaccination excitement it has created in the workplace.
"The bonus has created some real excitement for our team and in the process it has also created vaccine comradery. Frankly it’s fantastic, our team has banded together and we haven’t heard any negative comments from workers internally," Modha said.
But, some employment lawyers are waving the red flag that vaccine incentives could have some pushback from workers since it carries a lot of risk with human rights.
"If an employee has a legitimate medical reason or holds religious beliefs that will not allow them to get a vaccine, those employees should still be able to participate in those programs for workers that are able to get vaccinated," Trevor Lawson, Partner at McCarthy Tétrault LLP, told BNN Bloomberg.
On the other hand, Lawson said there’s a significant benefit of vaccine disclosures when it comes to these programs.
"Where a reward program can be of great assistance to an employer is understanding how many employees are actually vaccinated because they will be applying for that reward," Lawson explained.
"It takes away the issue of privacy as employees will willingly provide that information to get the prize."
This weekend, Canada hit a major milestone with its vaccination rollout.
According to data collected by CTVNews.ca, 20 per cent of the eligible population (Canadians 12 years and older) are now fully vaccinated and almost 75 per cent have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.
Modha said it’s important business owners start stepping up to the plate to help make sure the rest of the population gets vaccinated.
"I am a big believer that we can sit here and yell and scream at the government, but as business owners we all need to start taking initiative," Modha said.
"If we want people to get back to work then we also need to be a part of the solution in any way we can. We’re all in this together, so if we unite then we can get out of it together."