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Yes, there is something employers should be doing when it comes to vaccines

March 10, 2021, 3:42 PM UTC
Time off for vaccine appointments is just one way employers can encourage employees to embrace the vaccine.
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Welcome to Worksheet, a newsletter about how people are working smarter in these turbulent times.

Every week, this newsletter will share analysis on the state of work by S. Mitra Kalita, a veteran media executive, author, and journalist.

In this week’s edition, Kalita digs how employers can help speed the vaccine rollout.


Nothing is more important than vaccines right now. No business can afford to sit on the sidelines, hoping governments get this rollout right. 

Because they haven’t. 

Thankfully, there’s a lot of blame to go around. The difficulty in booking a vaccine appointment basically holds up a mirror to myriad, accumulated, undealt-with problems of the global economy: digital divides, healthcare inequity, worker burnout, unfair wages, mistrust in institutions, ambiguity in immigration law and work status, and so much more. 

Good example: Darden Restaurants, which runs the Olive Garden and LongHorn Steakhouse, among others, was early in saying it would offer four hours of paid time off for employees to get vaccinated. “We recognize getting vaccinated is a personal decision that you alone can make,” CEO Gene Lee said. “While we will not require hourly team members to be vaccinated as a condition of employment, we strongly encourage you consider getting vaccinated.”

Dollar General struck a similar tone: “We do not want our employees to have to choose between receiving a vaccine or coming to work.”


Kalita goes on to write about what businesses can and should be doing to support the vaccination drive right now.

Read her full column here.

Wondering what else the future of work holds? Visit Fortune‘s Smarter Working hub presented by Future Forum by Slack.

This week's reads

Comeback
Women have left the workplace in droves. How to get them back (Fortune)

No Normal
COVID-19 has radically reinvented the workplace. Here’s how (Harvard Business Review)

No Retiring Diversity
AARP has hired a chief diversity officer to run its new diversity, equity and inclusion division (Black Enterprise)

Tiny Desk
Some tips on how to squeeze a small home officer into a small apartment (Washington Post