Vodafone is the latest corporate to dangle a carrot for its 2,000 staff to get vaccinated against covid-19 – free internet for a couple of months.
The country’s biggest mobile provider will give all fully vaccinated employees and contractors a $200 broadband credit and the chance to win one of 10 new phones. For a basic monthly fibre plan of $69, that’s almost three months free, or if they’re on Vodafone’s preferred wireless plan at $55, almost four months.
“We want as many Vodafoners as possible to get vaccinated against covid-19 to keep our people and our customers safe, and to help slow the spread of the virus and avoid more lockdowns,” people director Jodie King said in a statement.
“We are also planning ahead – as knowing at an aggregated level how vaccinated our workforce is can inform our covid-19 safety management plan, and helps keep our people safe at work and able to continue providing essential services to our customers.”
The telco is offering staff half a day of paid leave for each vaccination appointment and will arrange onsite vaccination at its three main offices for a second shot in late October.
Vodafone has three main offices in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch and operates a network of 70 retail stores.
It is setting up a voluntary vaccination register for all staff as part of that planning, which it said is owned by its health and safety team and covered by Vodafone’s privacy standard. Vodafone's staff incentive scheme sits alongside its #GetVaccinatedNZ campaign with the Warriors NRL side, targeting Māori and Pasifika youth in south Auckland.
Retailer The Warehouse also announced on Wednesday it would pay its fully vaccinated staff $100. The company employs about 11,000 staff through its The Warehouse, Warehouse Stationery, Noel Leeming, Torpedo7 and The Market and 1-Day businesses.
The Warehouse Group chief executive Nick Grayston said the company wants to do its bit to encourage New Zealanders to get vaccinated.
“The delta variant has highlighted the need to be proactive in doing what we can to eliminate this virus from Aotearoa."
New Zealand firms have preferred to cajole their staff into getting vaccinations rather than offering them carrots, such as providing onsite vaccination or providing transport to vaccine centres.
Petone-based steel products maker Steel & Tube is offering its 800 staff $75 per jab in either cash or shares and Mexico corn chip maker Mexican Supplies in Lower Hutt will pay its 22 staff a $200 bonus for getting vaccinated.
A BusinessNZ survey of 456 of its members found 17% were offering or planning to offer a vaccination incentive, with more than 55% stating they would not. A further 27% said they were unsure.
The same survey also found widespread support for saliva testing in the workplace, with close to 75% in favour. Businesses surveyed also overwhelmingly supported QR codes to sign in.
Those that were offering incentives were making bookings and transporting staff to vaccination sites, giving staff paid time off, sending reminders about how to book the vaccine or offering vaccination at work.
This article has been updated.