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In Hong Kong, the COVID-19 vaccination programme debuted in late February, however, as of 1 June 2021, less than a quarter (21%) of the Hong Kong population has received their first dose and about 16% are fully vaccinated. Notably, medical experts have been saying a vaccination rate of around 70% has to be achieved for COVID herd immunity.
There are myriad reasons why Hongkongers are not getting the vaccines, such as a wait-and-watch approach, concerns over efficacy, etc. In light of this, government officials and businesses have been incentivising COVID-19 vaccinations to encourage vaccine-hesitant employees.
These initiatives come at a good time, as Hong Kong has just seen its 38-day streak of zero local untraceable COVID-19 cases come to an end.
Here is an overview of the vaccine perks organisations and government-related bodies are offering to their employees:
Hongkong Land: Free vaccination side-effect medical insurance coverage, HK$150 transportation subsidy, a maximum of HK$3,800 in cash, and more
Based on the results of an employee survey conducted in mid-April, Hongkong Land, the subsidiary of Jardine Matheson Group, is offering comprehensive vaccine incentives to employees in Hong Kong.
Here is an overview of how the property developer encourages its employees to get vaccinated:
Robert Wong, Chief Executive of Hongkong Land, said, “As a responsible corporate citizen, Hongkong Land aims to set an example by ensuring a safe and healthy environment for our employees, business partners, customers, and visitors, thus protecting the wellbeing of the wider community. To bring together our colleagues to fight against the pandemic, we provided a series of measures including pre- and post-vaccination support to help facilitate vaccination.”
The property group owns and manages prime offices and luxury retail properties in key Asian cities, principally in Hong Kong, Singapore, Beijing, and Jakarta.
Cathay Pacific: Extra holidays and chance to win Asia Miles lucky draw
Following its vaccine awareness campaign "Arm up, let's fly again!" in April, Cathay Pacific announced new employee incentives on 3 June, 2021. All Hong Kong-based employees can enjoy two days of vaccination leave and are also eligible to win Asia Miles and an array of other goodies, including free Air Travel Bubble flights and staycations.
All Hong Kong employees can receive a free pre-vaccination medical assessment to determine whether they are physically fit for vaccination.
Cathay Pacific CEO Augustus Tang said: “We are incredibly grateful to the more than 80% of our pilots and over 50% of our cabin crew who have already booked or received their vaccinations. We hope many more of our employees will follow their example as we all work together to help build an immune barrier in Hong Kong as soon as possible."
“As Hong Kong’s home airline, Cathay Pacific strongly believes in the importance of vaccination against Covid-19, which is key to the resumption of regular international air travel and the return to normal life for everyone in Hong Kong,” he added.
St. James' Settlement gives holidays to eligible part-time and full-time staff
Both part-time and full-time employees at St. James' Settlement who got vaccinated can enjoy at least one day off, as revealed in an internal memo shared to Human Resources Online.
Full-time staff can get one paid holiday for each jab. As for part-time staff, no matter how many doses they get, they can only enjoy one day off.
The non-governmental charitable organisation noted that those who got inoculated before joining the company or those who have already resigned before the announcement would not be eligible for this campaign.
Sun Hung Kai Properties: Free iPhone 12, hotel staycation packages, and more
Sun Hung Kai Properties announced on 4 June that all vaccinated employees are entitled to a HK$10 million daily lucky draw as well as inoculated Hongkongers.
The lucky ones can receive:
|A free iPhone 12 (SmarTone's monthly 5G service plan included)||1|
|HK$2,000 staycation packages||10|
|375,000 membership points under The Point by SHKP||15|
|Catering coupons at the group's hotels||10|
|HK$1,000 Yata shopping coupons||10|
Prior to the announcement, the property developer has already arranged free medical checks for employees and their family, and all employees can stay at home on the day of vaccination and the day after.
Since Sun Hung Kai Properties joined the government's outreach vaccination programme for businesses in Hong Kong, those based in its headquarter can get their vaccination at the office.
More than 34,000 employees at Sun Hung Kai Properties have completed two doses of vaccination so far.
Up to HK$4,000 e-shopping coupons for inoculated Hang Lung employees in addition to two holidays
Hang Lung Properties announced on 4 June the launch of initiatives worth over HK$10 million, targeting both employees and the public, in support of the government’s COVID-19 vaccination drive.
In addition to the existing vaccination support framework, the company will offer extra two days of paid vaccination leave and up to HK$4,000 Hang Lung e-shopping coupons for fully vaccinated and eligible staff. Each of them will first receive HK$1,000 Hang Lung e-shopping coupons upon receiving two doses of the vaccine by the end of September 2021.
Then, if the vaccination rate among its Hong Kong staff reaches 70% by October 31, 2021, every fully vaccinated and eligible Hong Kong employee including outsourced staff will receive extra HK$3,000 e-shopping coupons.
"Safeguarding the health and safety of our staff members has always been our top priority. We have been encouraging our staff to get vaccinated to protect themselves and the people around them," Hang Lung noted.
In March, the property developer provided staff with flexibility and support to get vaccinated during office hours, along with a partnership with a medical provider to administer free COVID-19 vaccines for employees.
CLP Power announced a series of offers including HK$200 charity donation and hotel dining coupons
To boost vaccine participation, these are the arrangements granted to employees by CLP Power:
- A HK$200 donation to charities for each Hong Kong-based employees and their family members who get vaccinated. The company will donate up to HK$1 million in this scheme.
- Provide more flexibility and convenience to employees and their relatives who are interested in getting the vaccine
- Adjust work arrangements to facilitate employees to take the vaccine during office hours
- Employees who complete two doses of vaccination will be offered time-off and hotel dining coupons.
- Arrange a vaccination health talk hosted by a doctor to provide medical information and onsite simple medical checks to employees
“The health and safety of our employees are always a top priority at CLP Power. As a responsible and caring employer, we continue to take various measures during the pandemic to support our workforce such as implementing special working arrangements, providing personal protective equipment and complying with the government’s testing requirements,” CLP Power Managing Director TK Chiang said.
HSBC Hong Kong allows employees to get vaccination during office hours
HSBC spokesperson told Human Resources Online on 1 June: “For the protection of bank staff and customers and to ensure customers, HSBC has always provided flexibility to accommodate staff’s vaccination appointments during office hours. In supporting the government’s vaccination leave measure, we will introduce two days of vaccination leave for HSBC employees in Hong Kong.”
Vaccinated employees at the Swire Group can get various vaccine freebies, from HK$2,000 shopping coupon to travel perks lucky draw
To support the government’s ongoing COVID-19 vaccination drive, Swire Properties announced on 1 June that it is offering HK$8mn in incentives to help boost the take-up rate for the vaccination. The incentives can be enjoyed by the broader Hong Kong community as well as the company’s employees.
Those who are vaccinated can enter a lucky draw to win a shopping spree at Swire Properties’ malls in Hong Kong, while the group's Hong Kong-based staff will receive shopping coupons valued at HK$2,000 in addition to a special rest day announced earlier. A free pre-vaccination medical assessment will also be made available to staff.
Guy Bradley, Chief Executive of Swire Properties, said: “Increasing the vaccination rate is the only way to end the pandemic. We are eager to do our part by launching a host of incentives that support the HKSAR Government’s vaccination efforts. We want to help our staff, help our tenants and help the people of Hong Kong with the aim of getting our city back on track.”
Specifically, at Swire Properties, in addition to the one day of special leave announced earlier (to be taken after the second dose of the vaccine), eligible staff who receive two doses of the vaccine before the end of August 2021 will receive a shopping voucher worth HK$2,000.
Swire Hotels, a division of Swire Properties, earlier offered its staff a pre-vaccination medical screening and one to three days of special leave for Hong Kong-based colleagues who fully complete the vaccination process. To further improve the vaccination rate, these staff can also take part in a lucky draw to win one of 30 prizes, including a HK$10,000 travel reimbursement and staycation packages.
Ocean Park provides extra days-off for vaccination day and post-vaccination
Ocean Park told Human Resources Online that it is enhancing its existing vaccination incentive to "encourage staff and make it convenient for them to get vaccinated".
Starting 31 May, vaccinated staff will be rewarded an extra half-day of paid leave.
Altogether, the amusement park's full-time staff will now enjoy a total of two days of paid leave for completing the full COVID-19 vaccination course, while part-time staffers will receive two days of wage payments in lieu.
Sino Group offers extra annual leave and an option to get inoculated during office hours
The property group's announcement last week — in which all vaccinated Hong Kong residents are eligible to enter the lucky draw for a grand prize award of a 449-square-feet one-bedroom residential apartment at Grand Central — has spurred debate among Hongkongers throughout the weekend.
Meanwhile, Sino Group told Human Resources Online that the property developer is offering two extra days of annual leave to employees upon completion of two doses of the vaccine, and there is an option of getting vaccinated during working hours.
All employees under Peninsula's parent group can get a maximum of HK$4,000 once vaccinated
The Hongkong and Shanghai Hotels (HSH), the parent company of the iconic Peninsula hotels, the Peak Tower, and Peak Tramways, is offering an initial HK$2,000 to its Hong Kong employees to encourage them to get vaccinated. Additionally, the group also set an internal target of reaching a 70% vaccination rate by 31 August 2021. Once achieved, each employee will receive another HK$2,000 as a reward.
From 1 June 2021 to 31 August 2021, full-time staff members of the Lingnan University (UGC-funded/non-UGC-funded) will be entitled to a one-day vaccination leave for each COVID-19 vaccination dose received, according to an internal email obtained by Human Resources Online.
The leave may be taken on the basis of two half-days or one full day for each dose received.
Those who were vaccinated on or before 31 May 2021 will also be allowed to apply for one day of COVID-19 vaccination authorised absence that may be taken by 31 March 2022 for each dose already received.
Eligible employees are required to complete a leave application form and submit it together with the vaccination record to the supervisor or head of department for approval.
Full story on HK government's vaccine perk: Civil servants in HK can take a day off for every COVID-19 jab
Airport Authority offers 11,000 tickets for 'lucky' vaccinated employees
Airport Authority Hong Kong (AA) announced on 26 May that 60,000 air tickets will be given away by lucky draw to Hong Kong residents and airport staff who receive COVID-19 vaccination by the end of September 2021. Of these, 10,000 tickets will be reserved for vaccinated employees of Hong Kong International Airport.
Additionally, the AA will purchase another 1,000 air tickets for giving away via lucky draw to AA staff vaccinated before the same deadline.
Jack So, Chairman of AA said, “We hope air traffic would recover as soon as possible. A higher vaccination rate is pivotal to the early recovery of aviation business. We took the lead by committing additional resources to encourage AA staff to receive the vaccines, hoping that other corporations and organisations in Hong Kong will also support the Government by providing different incentives to encourage their staff to receive the vaccination.”
Starting from 20 April 2021, AA staff who receive COVID-19 vaccination can take a total of three days off including the days of receiving the first and second vaccine dose, and the day after the second dose.
Cyberport fully supports the government’s announcement and will offer its employees a day of paid leave for each COVID-19 vaccine dose, from 1 June until 31 August, to encourage vaccination among its staff and to give them sufficient time to recuperate after getting vaccinated.
The tech hub will also appeal to other enterprises to provide similar arrangements.
Dr. George Lam, Chairman of Cyberport, said, “Getting vaccinated is of utmost importance in our anti-epidemic efforts and is the key to helping our community get back to normal. At Cyberport, we hope to play our part in boosting the vaccination rate at this critical juncture to build a protective shield in Hong Kong as soon as possible.”
Statutory bodies related to labour matters
The Employees Compensation Assistance Fund Board, Employees' Compensation Insurance Levies Management Board, Occupational Deafness Compensation Board, Occupational Safety and Health Council and Pneumoconiosis Compensation Fund Board expressed support for the government's vaccination leave arrangement for government employees receiving COVID-19 vaccination.
These bodies will provide facilitation to their staff intending to get vaccinated by granting vaccination leave so as to encourage vaccination as early as possible for protecting themselves and others.
The Hospital Authority (HA) welcomed the government's initiatives and the vaccination leave arrangement for government employees to encourage the public to receive COVID-19 vaccination. The HA will make reference to the arrangement to offer authorised leave for vaccination to HA staff who have received vaccination.
"To allow sufficient time to recuperate and to encourage staff members to receive vaccination, staff members who have taken a dose of vaccine are entitled to have a day of authorised leave for vaccination. The arrangement also applies to staff members who have already received vaccination earlier," the HA spokesperson said.
The HA is working on the vaccination leave arrangement while ensuring normal operation of public hospital services. The details will be announced to the staff as early as practicable.
All hospital clusters will continue with their arrangements to encourage vaccination, while different hospitals have already set up depots to enable staff members to receive vaccination and hotlines to answer queries.
The Hong Kong Housing Authority (HA) will provide government employees with vaccination leave, and would extend the arrangement to all contract staff employed by the HA.
"We fully appreciate the efforts and support of fellow HA staff members in helping combat the epidemic over the past 16 months", a spokesman for the HA said. "We hope that fellow HA staff members who have not yet vaccinated will consider doing so with the added facilitation of vaccination leave. This will better protect themselves and the public whom we serve, and will help restore to normality of society".
Travel Industry Authority
The Travel Industry Authority (TIA) welcomes the government's announcement on May 31 on the introduction of a day of vaccination leave for each vaccination dose received by government employees, and will make a similar arrangement.