Westpac (ASX:WBC) gives its employees paid time off to get COVID jabs

Westpac is the latest ASX-listed company to incentivise getting vaccinated.

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Westpac Banking Corp (ASX: WBC) is giving its employees two paid half-days off work to get vaccinated against COVID-19. While the news is likely being welcomed by the company’s workers, it hasn’t boosted the Westpac share price today.

Shares in each of the big four banks have had a rough day on the ASX.

At close, shares in Westpac were trading for $26.63 – 0.89% less than last session’s closing price.

Let’s take a look at Westpac’s new incentive for its employees to get vaccinated.

Paid time off to get the jab

Westpac announced its employees will be able to take paid half days off work for COVID-19 vaccinations, effective today.

Westpac’s CEO Peter King commented on the new incentive:

Getting people vaccinated is key to protecting our family and friends should further outbreaks occur, as well as opening up the economy and returning to a more normal way of life. While vaccination is a personal decision and employees should seek personal medical advice, we want to do everything we can to encourage employees to roll up their sleeve and get the jab.

Additionally, King said Westpac is interested in running a corporate COVID-19 vaccination program if it becomes a possibility.

National Australia Bank Ltd (ASX: NAB)’s CEO Ross McEwan had also flagged NAB’s interest in a corporate vaccination program. In April, McEwan told a parliamentary committee he received a COVID-19 vaccination at work. He said NAB would like to allow its employees to do the same.

Other corporate incentives

Westpac is the latest ASX-listed company providing incentives to get vaccinated.

Last week, Qantas Airways Limited (ASX: QAN)’s CEO Alan Joyce announced the airline will offer vaccinated Australians the chance to win a year’s free travel for themselves and their family.

Joyce said:

I’m encouraging a ‘Team Australia’ moment where every corporate out there helps with this vaccine rollout and to reward people who have had the vaccine.

Last month, Australia’s chief medical officer Paul Kelly said incentivising Australians to get vaccinated against COVID-19 could be a possibility. When asked if offering discounts, merchandise, or cash lotteries could help motivate Australians to get the jab, Kelly said:

I think we really do need to look for incentives, as many incentives as we can, for people to become vaccinated.

Westpac share price snapshot

Aside from today’s poor performance, the Westpac share price has been performing well on the ASX lately.

Currently, the Westpac share price is 37% higher than it was at the start of 2021. It’s also gained 42% since this time last year.

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The Motley Fool Australia’s parent company Motley Fool Holdings Inc. has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Bruce Jackson.

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