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

April 22, 2021

The COVID-19 Vaccination Trends India Survey was conducted in April 2021 to understand India Inc. approach towards COVID-19 vaccination for the workforce and dependents.
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NEW DELHI, April 22, 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.

  • 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

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 planned

Noting 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 anticipated

Given 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 designed around the 5 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 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 survey

The Willis Towers Watson COVID-19 Vaccination Trends India Survey was conducted in April 2021 and surveyed more than 150 employers in India.

About Willis Towers Watson

Willis Towers Watson (NASDAQ: WLTW) is a leading global advisory, broking and solutions company that helps clients around the world turn risk into a path for growth. With roots dating to 1828, Willis Towers Watson has 45,000 employees serving more than 140 countries and markets. We design and deliver solutions that manage risk, optimize benefits, cultivate talent, and expand the power of capital to protect and strengthen institutions and individuals. Our unique perspective allows us to see the critical intersections between talent, assets and ideas — the dynamic formula that drives business performance. Together, we unlock potential.

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