According to a report published by Bloomberg, Apple Inc. is offering paid time off to its employees for appointments to get Covid-19 vaccines and paid sick leave for those experiencing side effects.
The Cupertino, California-based tech giant, encourages its staff to get vaccinated and told them in recent weeks that it does not have access to vaccines and is not providing shots themselves to workers.
Since the pandemic starting taking effect last year, Apple has been one of the companies that offered paid time off to those with Covid-19 symptoms. With many corporate employees still working from their homes, as Apple stores across the U.S. have reopened the company has gradually brought back retail staff.
On April 15, in California, where Apple is based and has its main offices and also more than 50 stores, people over the age of 16 will be eligible for vaccination, the state said last week. Many other states in the United States are also expanding vaccine eligibility.
Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook told employees in a town hall meeting at the end of 2020 that Apple is planning to have more staff return as early as June, and even though he has been steadfast about staff eventually returning to the office, he did hint at more flexibility.
“There’s no replacement for face-to-face collaboration, but we have also learned a great deal about how we can get our work done outside of the office without sacrificing productivity or results,” he told staff last year. “When we’re on the other side of this pandemic, we will preserve everything that is great about Apple while incorporating the best of our transformations this year.”
Last week, Amazon.com Inc., in its warehouses in Nevada, Kansas, and Missouri, started on-site vaccinations for front-line workers, while some airlines and hotel chains have also begun vaccinating employees.
Apple is offering on-site Covid-19 testing for employees returning to its offices, and mail-in testing kits for both retail and corporate workers have also been provided. On its Maps app, Apple recently added a new feature to help users find vaccination sites.