How Aldi Is Encouraging Its Employees To Get Vaccinated

Last week, as the Wall Street Journal reported, Dollar General announced it would offer its employees four hours of pay for getting vaccinated against COVID-19. Trader Joe's and Instacart are offering similar (if lesser) incentives, per Fox News. This week, Aldi is joining the ranks, promising up to four hours of compensation plus the cost of the vaccine to its employees who get vaccinated. "Providing accommodations so employees can receive this critical vaccine is one more way we can support them and eliminate the need to choose between earning their wages and protecting their well-being," Aldi U.S. CEO Jason Hart said in a press release, posted at PR Newswire.

Aldi's vaccine incentive falls short of the sizable bonuses that some nursing homes and hospitals are offering their employees across the nation. These range, as per Chicago Tribune and ABC News, from between $150 to $750. It's also nowhere close to the value of the security cameras, Google Nest entertainment systems, and bicycles that the Los Angeles Fire Department is offering its employees in return for getting vaccinated. But Aldi nonetheless hopes that the incentive will allow its frontline employees, who might not otherwise feel they could take time off work, to do so.

Aldi prepares its stores for vaccination drives

Offering incentives to employees isn't the only thing that Aldi is doing to encourage its employees to get vaccinated. The company is also, reportedly, working with state and local officials to ensure its employees have priority access to the vaccine. To further facilitate the process, the grocery store chain plans to mount on-site vaccine clinics so that its employees can access vaccines easily. 

What, exactly, "priority access means" and when Aldi's workers will be able to take advantage of these incentives remains unclear. The CDC lists grocery workers in their priority, "1b" vaccine group, encompassing non-healthcare essential workers and persons 75 years old or older. Grub Street reports that New York's grocery store workers may be able to receive vaccines by the end of January 2020. But in Wisconsin, supermarket employees may face longer waits, as, per AP, they aren't included in the state's 1b vaccine rollout plan