Paid time-off for employees getting the vaccine is the most popular incentive among 71% of the local employers surveyed, while cash bonuses and dinner vouchers are also on the list.

According to Indeed's latest report, Vaccination: The Path to the New Normal in the Workplace, Singapore's workforce sees vaccination against COVID-19 as essential to get employees back to work safely, fight stress, and help economic recovery. In fact, most workers and employers agreed that businesses should incentivise vaccination in workplaces and that transparency is critical to defeating the pandemic permanently.

A dive into the report revealed this ground sentiment:

  • Employees and employers (82%) "would be satisfied with the government mandating Singaporean workers get vaccinated."
  • If offered, most Singaporeans (92%) revealed they would have gotten vaccinated at their workplace.
  • Nearly four out of five (79%) of employers believe they should know which of their employees are vaccinated. 
  • Of the employers surveyed, 66% already offer their employees incentives to get vaccinated (such as leave, office access, or bonus payments), while 34% haven’t yet done so.

"The strong support for vaccinations indicates a desire to leave behind a pandemic that has taken an economic, physical and emotional toll," explained in the report. More than half of workers surveyed said they had been somewhat affected, while 28% said they had been greatly affected. Only 16% were not significantly affected, and just 4% said they were not affected at all.

Why the support for vaccination?

"Singapore sees the COVID-19 vaccination as a way to escape the economic and psychological woes most countries have faced over the last year," the report stated. The majority of those surveyed (91%) shared that high vaccination rates would "at least or somewhat or even entirely relieve the stress caused by the pandemic."

Looking at business leaders, the majority (73%) think widespread vaccination would have a markedly or moderately positive impact on their business, while 4% said it would be a total gamechanger. That said, there is a small portion of employers (13%) thinking that general vaccination coverage would actually harm their business.

With regard to respondents' sentiment on international business travel, a similar proportion (88% of employers and 87% of employees) believe higher general vaccination rates are the key to restarting it.

What's my incentive for getting vaccinated?

Following Singapore government's advice on encouraging employees to get vaccinated, most business leaders took heed. Of the employers surveyed, 66% already offer their employees incentives to get vaccinated (such as leave, office access, or bonus payments), while 34% haven’t yet done so. A deeper analysis revealed that the most popular of incentives for both employers and employees were paid leave, with 71% of business leaders giving staff time off.

Further, most employees (56%) said that being offered time off would make them more likely to get vaccinated.

Others findings include:

  • Employees were also interested in leave to support anyone experiencing the side effects of vaccines (56%) and paid bonuses (52%) as incentives to get jabbed.
  • Employers are also offering cash bonuses (45%), experiences like dinner vouchers (41%), additional training (30%) and other non-cash gifts (24%) to stimulate vaccination.
  • Most of these rewards (61%) ranged in value between SG$50 and SG$200, while 34% ranged between SG$201 and SG$500. The mean value of these rewards was SG$235.

Who is vaccinated, who isn't?

In general, employees and employers want transparency around vaccinations. Nearly four out of five (79%) of employers believe they should be allowed to know whom among their workforce has been vaccinated. The rate is even higher for employees: more than four out of five (84%) believe that their bosses should have visibility over their workforce’s vaccination status, with 46% of those strongly emphasising the need for information.

Furthermore, workers think they should have access to the same information their employers have, with 79% wanting to know their co-workers’ vaccination statuses.

On the topic of third-party workers' access to the workplace, more than seven in 10 (74%) employees think electronic vaccination passports should be required to physically enter a workplace as either a worker or visitor.

As for employers, 95% of them said they allow third-party workers into their physical spaces, usually under restrictions like requiring them to wear masks. Just 5% said they would not allow third-party workers into the workplace under any circumstances.

Get vaccinated, or else...

While employers and employees alike are happy for vaccines to be mandatory in the workplace, there is limited support for punishing those who are medically fit but choose not to get vaccinated.

The majority (54%) of employees believe their coworkers should be dismissed if they actively choose not to be vaccinated, but a minority (39%) think dismissal is a step too far. The results were even more divisive when broken down into demographics of gender and age:

  • Men: 58% are in favour of dismissal; 36% are against.
  • Women: 46% are in favour of dismissal; 46% are against.
  • Aged 55 and above: 17% are in favour of dismissal; 60% are against; 21% didn't have an opinion.
  • Aged 16-24: 40% are in favour of dismissal; 49% are against.
  • Aged 25-54: The majority are in favour of dismissal.
  • Especially so for those aged between 35-44, with more than 60% are in favour of dismissal.

ALSO READSingapore tightens workplace measures from 8 Sep: Weekly COVID testing for onsite staff, ban on social interactions, and more

Image / 123RF

Follow us on Telegram and on Instagram @humanresourcesonline for all the latest HR and manpower news from around the region!