Safety is on the menu at McDonald’s.
The Golden Arches plans to give four hours of paid time off to employees of corporate-owned restaurants to receive the coronavirus vaccine. A spokesperson for the chain confirmed the incentive to Fox News on Tuesday, adding that U.S. corporate employees are also eligible for the PTO.
"Vaccination is essential in the fight against the pandemic, and we are actively encouraging McDonald’s employees to take this important step. We will provide four hours of paid time to crew at McDonald’s corporate-owned US restaurants and to US corporate employees who receive the vaccine," Tiffanie Boyd, US Chief People Officer for McDonald’s USA, said in a statement.
"Ensuring widespread availability and access to the vaccine will require extraordinary partnerships between businesses, governments and community and health organizations, and we’re engaging with government officials and our partners to understand where McDonald’s can further support this work."
While McDonald’s doesn’t plan to make COVID-19 vaccination mandatory for its staff, the company is encouraging inoculation and connecting employees to trusted third-party experts for further information about the vaccine during this time.
According to the Chicago Tribune, about 5% of Mickey D’s 14,000 restaurants in the U.S. are corporate-owned, while the rest are managed by franchises. McDonald’s is the first major fast-food chain to incentivize vaccination for its workers. Other companies within the restaurant and food spaces have announced similar initiatives, including Darden Restaurants (the owners of Olive Garden and Longhorn Steakhouse, among others), Trader Joe's and Aldi.
To date, Reuters reports that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has administered 32,222,402 doses of coronavirus vaccines and distributed 49,936,450 doses.