How Aldi is Compensating Employees for Vaccinations

January 25, 2021

Aldi is going big by compensating employees for vaccinations. Here is what this grocery giant is doing right, and how you can, too.

Aldi Employee Vaccinations Cover Image 1

Aldi is where it’s at on so many levels. However, perhaps the one thing that shouldn’t be at Aldi is COVID-19.  Therefore, Aldi is making a bold move to ensure this by encouraging vaccinations for all employees.  How do they plan to accomplish this?  Well, by providing compensation, of course! In fact, Aldi is compensating employees for vaccinations in more than one way.

While compensating employees for vaccinations may be very appealing, employers must make sure to go about this the right way.  So, are some pointers, in case you are considering compensating employees for vaccinations.

For a Quarter You Can Shop

During my maiden voyage to Aldi, I must admit I was a little miffed.  First, I didn’t have a quarter.  If you don’t have a quarter at Aldi, you know what that means:  no cart for you.  Unless you can bum 25 cents off a complete stranger, or someone graciously gives you their buggy, you’ll be carrying an armload of groceries right up to the checkout line.  Next, everything was kinda crammed together with no clear distinction between where the cereal ended, and where the nuts began.  I felt so discombobulated, having prided myself on only shopping at the most organized retailers up to that point.  Finally, I had to buy my grocery bags at checkout.  What.  The.  Heck.  They must be kidding, right?  Providing them compensation for inconveniencing me?

Compensating You for Being Responsible

Aldi Employee Vaccinations Image 1
Photo by Peter Ellis | Source | CC by

So, what’s up with the 25-cent deposit for the cart?  Well, have you ever noticed there are rarely carts left stranded in the parking lot?  People sure do take their quarters seriously.  Ok, but why does Aldi charge for bags?  For starters, it keeps overhead low for the company by passing along the cost of the bags to the customers.  While 7 cents per bag might not seem like much to customers, it’s a huge cost savings and for Aldi, which they can then pass back to customers through low prices.  As a bonus, it is simply better for the environment. 

Thus, if you are someone who gave Aldi a second chance after that bad first impression, then you probably quickly caught on to all the great things about Aldi.

Compensating for Vaccinations

After falling in love with this bodacious bodega, I started to believe the company could do no wrong.  Therefore, it comes as no surprise they are still ahead of the game, even where coronavirus is concerned.  After all, their simple—yet forward thinking—actions are what have given them a name for themselves.  Like, obviously, it makes sense to find a simple way to encourage employees to get vaccinated. 

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So, why is Aldi paying employees to get vaccinated?  Well, when money comes to the table, we all know money talks.  Aldi knows that, too.  Therefore, the company has committed to paying frontline workers the equivalent of two hours of work per dose of the vaccine.  Furthermore, if the employee must pay for the vaccine, Aldi will reimburse them for the cost.  Finally, the company promises to work with employee schedules so that it is convenient for them to get vaccinated.  So, Aldi employees will not only have no out of pocket cost for the vaccine, they will also be compensated for it and won’t have the headache of trying to get time off work.  To make it even easier, Aldi intends to use its offices and warehouses to conduct vaccination clinics.  I can’t really think of one way they could make this easier for employees.

So, why is Aldi going to the nth degree to encourage employees to get vaccinated?  Well, the hope is that more workers will be inoculated as a result of the vaccine, and compensating them to do so is the best strategy.  Furthermore, compensating employees for vaccinations helps keep employees at work, and consequently keeps Aldi from paying unnecessary sick time.

Do It Right

Image of a calendar and clock, so employers will know they need to schedule clinics when compensating employees for vaccinations.
Image by Ranjithsiji | Source | CC by

Now, even though this is a great idea, it isn’t without liability.  For example, employers need to remember at this point legal professionals warn against forcing employees to get the vaccination.  Mandating vaccinations is discouraged whether or not the company covers the cost. 

Also, while holding onsite vaccination clinics sounds fantastic, it’s not as simple as rolling up with a few dozen doses of the vaccine.  Similar to providing COVID testing, your company needs to work in partnership with a healthcare provider who is able to bring their services onsite.  This is much like large employers who already offer flu clinics each year.

If you are considering offering a flu vaccination clinic, here are some things to remember before you begin.

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First, you’ll want to consider if your location has the appropriate space to offer the clinic.  You will need plenty of room, and you’ll also need to make sure the space adheres to the safe distancing guidelines.


Second, you should avoid dropping this on employees at the last minute.  In other words, make sure you plan far enough in advance that employees are able to schedule appropriately.


Third, don’t forget to make employees aware.  It does no good to schedule an important event, and then not make it known to employees.  So, be sure to announce the clinic in multiple formats (email, posters, intercom, etc.).


Finally, make sure you keep track of who all attend the clinic.  This will be especially important if you decide on compensating employees for getting the vaccine.

Aldi is All About Compensating Employees

The big takeaway here is that Aldi is carefully thinking through their process when compensating employees for vaccinations.  They are not forcing employees to get the vaccine.  Rather, they are encouraging vaccinations by compensating employees for their time and out of pocket costs.  That, in itself, makes it enticing to employees to get vaccinated.  However, Aldi is also providing the vaccine through onsite clinics.  Doing so is actually a proven strategy to ensure a higher level of participation.

So, if you are thinking about compensating employees for vaccinations, or holding a vaccine clinic, just be sure you are following recommended protocols before taking action.  Using Aldi’s process as a model could result in improved health, and therefore productivity, for your company.

Photo of a book with a pen on top, a pair of glasses, and a chalk board with the word PRODUCTIVITY, since compensating employees for vaccinations can help improve health, and consequently productivity.
Photo by Nick Youngson | Source | CC by

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