Marriott offers its employees an interesting incentive to get vaccinated.
Marriott pays the employees for the vaccination
It was announced that Marriott has launched the Vaccination Care program, which provides financial rewards for employees in managed properties in the United States and Canada. With this, Marriott employees receive the equivalent of four hours’ wages after vaccination.
Marriott says it supports the global vaccination effort. The company also provides training on the benefits of vaccination and leads the hotel management to allow schedule flexibility for vaccination appointments. Marriott strongly encourages employees to get vaccinated, but does not make it mandatory for the time being.
David Rodriguez, Marriott’s Global Chief Human Resources Officer, describes this step as follows:
“The health and safety of our employees is our top priority. Our goal for the vaccination program is to remove potential barriers to vaccination so that our employees can put their health first and have peace of mind. Marriott International is confident that in addition to wearing masks, social distancing, and strengthened cleanliness protocols and hygiene practices, vaccination is a key measure to minimize the spread of COVID-19.
As vaccines become more prevalent, this will create a safer environment for all employees and we believe that consumer confidence in re-travel will increase significantly and contribute to the recovery of the travel and tourism sector. We value the support of our managed hotel owners and encourage the industry and our franchisees to provide flexibility and incentives to their employees as a critical step in the recovery of our industry. “
This is well thought out by Marriott
It’s not often that Marriott is innovative, but I have to give credit to the hotel group here as I think the concept is really well thought out. We’ve seen a lot of travel brands talk about the importance of vaccinations, but we haven’t seen them create incentives for vaccinations.
For example, United Airlines CEO Scott Kirby has stated that he would like vaccination to be mandatory for all employees. He stated that other companies would have to adopt a similar stance to do this or United would not be able to “get away” with it.
I think Marriott is taking exactly the right approach here – the company is incentivizing employees to get vaccinated and encouraging properties to be flexible about employee working hours so this can be easily facilitated.
While we may see companies making vaccination mandatory, I think this is the right solution for now.
Ultimately, it is important that employees in the travel industry are vaccinated – it’s not just about keeping them safe, it’s also about keeping guests safe, as most early studies suggest that vaccinated people are less likely to spread coronavirus as well.
Looking elsewhere in the travel industry, Etihad Airways, based in Abu Dhabi, recently became the first major airline to vaccinate all pilots and flight attendants. The company has not mandated this, but has stated that those who fail to get vaccinated will not be eligible for company sick leave or health insurance benefits in the event they contract a coronavirus.
Marriott is offering vaccination incentives to hotel employees in the US and Canada. As a reward, the company offers four hours of wages. While this payment won’t be life changing, it’s a nice touch and more than we’ve seen from other travel brands.
At some point we can talk about whether or not vaccination should be compulsory for employees, but at this point the conversation doesn’t seem constructive, as vaccines are not currently available to everyone, we don’t know what the situation will be for the next few months and because this discussion inevitably becomes far too political.
What do you think of Marriott’s vaccination incentive?