Over 50% companies in India plan to facilitate COVID-19 vaccinations for their employees and dependents, Willis Towers Watson survey finds

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80% of employers will most likely have the Vaccination administered at a third-party clinic or hospital 97% plan to subsidise the cost for their employees; 78% for their spouse/ partner; and 59% for parents
New Delhi, 22 April 2021 — As India’s vaccination drive progresses amidst rising COVID-19 cases, over 50% companies in India are planning to facilitate vaccination for their employees and dependents according to the COVID-19 Vaccination Trends India Survey by Willis Towers Watson (NASDAQ: WLTW), a leading global advisory, broking and solutions company. Further, 80% companies are considering having the vaccination administered at third-party clinics or hospitals, 21% at their offices and 10% at the residence of their employees.  Cost subsidy for employees and dependents Nearly all the surveyed companies (97%) plan to cover or subsidise the vaccination cost for their employees, while 78% plan to do so for the spouse/partner, 74% for the children and 59% for the parents. In terms of cost heads, 73% indicated that they would cover the cost of vaccination, 22% would cover administration costs (Hospital/ Clinic/ Paramedic fee) and only 10% the cost of logistics such as travel expenses.Interestingly, 23% of the surveyed companies said that vaccination related costs would be covered from the existing employee benefits budget while 37% would allocate a separate budget. Further, 75% of the employers plan to include vaccination costs as part of their insurance programmes and 15% as part of an OPD benefit.Actions plannedNoting the actions planned by employers, the survey finds that 91% have or plan to communicate the benefits of vaccination to their employee and 82% plan to develop formal policies and procedures to make it easier for employees to be vaccinated. Importantly, 60% plan to establish a long-term policy where proof of vaccination will be required as a condition for returning to in-person work.
Further, 40% of the surveyed companies, plan to offer incentives to employees to get vaccinated. These include additional sick leaves for vaccination related reactions (57%), pay for time spent getting vaccinated (46%) and other financial incentives (23%). Support anticipatedGiven the unprecedented challenge, approximately 60% companies anticipate advisory and guidance from their service provider or consultant to facilitate the vaccination programmes.
Commenting on the survey findings, Vinod V.K., Head of Health & Benefits, Willis Towers Watson India Insurance Brokers said, “This is an unprecedented and ever evolving situation, making it critical for employers to have a holistic and long-term strategy on employee benefits and the future workplace, designed around 5 interconnected C’s – Coverage, Cost, Confidence, Convenience and Communication. Understanding the intricate long-term cost structure is critical to optimise coverage, while building employee confidence and making the process convenient will have a direct impact on vaccination uptake rates. A thought through employee communication strategy will also be crucial for driving the intended behaviours.”  “Given the scale and complexity, it is not surprising that a majority of companies in India anticipate specialised advisory and guidance in navigating the immediate crisis and developing a long-term response to this pandemic,” added Vinod. About the surveyThe Willis Towers Watson COVID-19 Vaccination Trends India Survey was conducted in April 2021 and surveyed more than 150 employers in India.

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