Lidl is giving all of its U.S. employees who get a COVID-19 vaccination $200 in extra pay.

Arlington, Va.-based Lidl US said Wednesday that the additional payment will help offset employee costs related to receiving a coronavirus vaccine, including travel expenses and child care. Workers’ schedules also will have the flexibility to accommodate appointments for the vaccine, the company added.

Lidl noted that its workforce strongly supports COVID-19 immunizations. According to an internal survey, about eight in 10 employees plan to get a vaccine as soon as it becomes available. The company said it’s providing workers with information about COVID-19 vaccine availability in their areas and working with state and local officials to ensure employees are priority recipients for the vaccination. Grocery stores and other food industry workers have been designated as “essential workers” by the federal government and are among those in the initial phases of the national COVID vaccine allocation.

“We are proud to provide our employees the resources they need to receive the COVID-19 vaccine free of any obstacles,” Lidl US CEO Johannes Fieber said in a statement. 

Support for coronavirus vaccinations builds on other efforts to safeguard employee health since the start of the pandemic, Lidl added. Last January, the retailer started offering comprehensive medical coverage to all part- and full-time employees regardless of hours worked weekly. And in March, Lidl developed a program with health insurer CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield to give all its employees access to full COVID-19 medical coverage at no cost.  

“From the outset of the pandemic, we have worked hard to put the health and safety of our employees first. From offering free COVID-19 healthcare to our entire workforce to installing hospital-grade air filtration in our stores and warehouses to assure cleaner and healthier air, Lidl has made it a priority to adapt our policies to work better for our people during this pandemic,” according to Fieber. “We are proud to do so again today to ensure that every team member who wants to get vaccinated is able to do so as soon as possible.”

In the United States, Germany-based Lidl operates more than 125 stores in Delaware, Georgia, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, and Virginia. 

Lidl joins fellow discount grocer Aldi as well as Dollar General and Instacart in providing financial assistance to workers so they can get a COVID-19 vaccination. 

Aldi said yesterday it’s offering all hourly workers time off and pay compensation to get a COVID-19 shot. Last week, Dollar General announced that it will provide frontline hourly workers with a one-time payment equivalent of four hours of regular pay after receiving a coronavirus vaccine and salaried team members with additional store-labor hours to accommodate their time away from the store to get immunized. And starting Feb. 1, Instacart will provide a $25 stipend to eligible shift leads, in-store personal shoppers, and full-service personal shoppers across North America so they can take time away from work to get vaccinated. Published reports also said last week that Trader Joe’s will allow employees to alter their work schedule to receive the vaccine and pay them two hours of pay per dose.