Poll: Workers more likely to be vaccinated if employers offer paid time off

A recent poll found that American workers are more likely to be vaccinated against COVID-19 if their employers offer paid time off for them to get and recover from the shots, indicating a potential way to boost vaccination rates.

The Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF) Vaccine Monitor for June released Wednesday determined that 75 percent of workers whose employers offer paid time off for the shots are vaccinated, compared to 51 percent of workers at companies that don’t give paid time off.

Similarly, 73 percent of workers whose employers encourage vaccinations have gotten the jab, while 41 percent of employees at workplaces that don’t give this encouragement are vaccinated.

Why this matters: The results seem to show employers could have a role in increasing worker vaccination rates.

“Assuming that employers want their workers to get vaccinated, even things like encouraging employees to get vaccinated in addition to providing paid time off could make a difference,” Liz Hamel, the vice president and director of public opinion and survey research at KFF, told The Hill.

But most don’t want mandates: A majority of workers, at 61 percent, said they opposed their own employer requiring vaccinations. Those who are unvaccinated and those who identify as or lean Republican were more likely to be against a mandate from their employer, at 92 percent and 85 percent, respectively.

Still, 42 percent of unvaccinated employees said if their company mandated a vaccine to keep working, they would get it.