When COVID-19 vaccines became widely available, companies gave employees paid time off to get their jab and nurse any potential side-effects.
Now, some agencies are applying the rule to employees’ loved ones, too.
Since vaccinations against COVID-19 became available in the U.S., nearly 59% of people have gotten fully vaccinated. Sixty-nine percent are partially vaccinated with at least one dose of the shot.
In a push to get more people vaccinated, states including New York passed legislation this year granting employees paid time off for COVID-19 vaccinations. Employees can take the necessary days for recovery without retribution to account for possible side-effects.
But as vaccination rates among adults have slowed, a new eligible demographic has emerged: children. Plus, as some adults approach the one-year vaccination mark, a few have chosen to return to their doctor’s offices for a booster shot.
Here is how agencies and holding companies are accommodating employees in this next phase of the fight against COVID-19.
1. Publicis Groupe
“We have always supported our employees with time off and flexibility to obtain a vaccination and to recover from any side effects. With the vaccine more widely available to younger populations, we will similarly support our employees to take the time needed to accompany children to be vaccinated,” said a Publicis spokesperson in an email.
2. Omnicom Group
Omnicom does not have a specific policy for vaccinations, but Joanne Trout, chief communications officer, said its agencies “highly encourage” its employees to get their kids and loved ones vaccinated.
“Similar to our position with our employees, we will accommodate their schedules to get a booster shot or get their kids vaccinated,” she said. Omnicom has not changed its return to the office policy, which requires employees to show proof of vaccination when entering the office.
All Havas employees are required to be fully vaccinated before returning to the office, and were granted PTO to get their shot. The same policy applies for employees that require time off to get their children or loved ones vaccinated. “If employees require support or time off to get a booster shot or to take their kids to get vaccinated, we’ve asked that they let their managers know so we can accommodate their schedules,” a Havas spokesperson said in an email. Details about booster shots “will be forthcoming as the government expands eligibility.”
R/GA employees can get themselves and loved ones vaccinated with ease, said global CMO Ashish Prashar, adding that the agency allows time off for “whatever you need.”
“No one's going to be punitive to people who need that time,” he said, “It's about the health of our community, at the end of the day.”
5. Mischief @ No Fixed Address
Mischief @ No Fixed Address does not have a formal policy because employees can take PTO whenever they need to, said partner and president Kerry McKibbin.
“We're not ones for clock punching; people at Mischief know they can take personal time to prioritize anything in their lives that is important to them — not just getting vaccinated. We encourage taking any needed time for both physical and mental health reasons,” she said.
On boosters, McKibbin said employees are currently required to be fully vaxxed to return to the office, but boosters will only be required if and when the CDC recommends them and they are widely available.
At Ogilvy, employees are provided with eight hours of additional paid time off that can be used toward COVID-19 vaccine appointments or consultations.
“Since the beginning of the pandemic our top priority has been on the health and safety of our people and their families,” said David Ford, global chief communications officer at Ogilvy.
Employees at TBWA can take “whatever time they need” to get themselves and loved ones vaccinated by logging it under a general time code without having to use vacation time or PTO.
“We trust everyone to manage their time and get it done when they can get it done, and they do not need to take any paid time off to do it,” a spokesperson said in an email.
“Kaplow follows New York state law requirements for paid time off regarding COVID vaccines, including booster shots,” said founder and CEO Liz Kaplow.
The firm grants employees four hours of paid time off per vaccination. Working parents are eligible for up to four hours per vaccination to take their children to get vaccinated as well.
Kaplow employees must show proof of vaccination to enter the office, and the firm expects to implement a policy that requires employees 18 and over to receive booster shots in order to maintain valid proof of vaccination when boosters are recommended and approved by the FDA.
9. Porter Novelli
Porter Novelli gives employees paid family care and sick leave, which covers time needed to vaccinate oneself or family members. However, the firm said it prides itself on being flexible with employees and “would not necessarily require them to tap into those banks for a minimal amount of time,” in an email.
“With respect to our boosters, we are currently following CDC recommendations and taking guidance from our parent company. Employee health and welfare is the key consideration that will continue to inform our policies,” a spokesperson said.
Zeno requires all staff in the U.S., except those with an approved accommodation, to be fully vaccinated to enter the office “in order to ensure a safe environment in which everyone can be comfortable,” a spokesperson said in an email.
The firm encourages employees to use sick or other allotted time off “to care for themselves and their loved ones, including taking time to be vaccinated.”
“We will continue to comply with all applicable federal and local laws and guidance, including those related to boosters,” the spokesperson said.
Finn Partners and FleishmanHillard declined to comment on this story. Dentsu, IPG, WPP and Stagwell did not respond to requests for comment.
This story first appeared on campaignlive.com.