Apr 21, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Biden announces small business tax credits for vaccine PTO

Biden in oval office
Photo: Doug Mills/The New York Times/Bloomberg via Getty Images

President Biden on Wednesday called on all employers to provide workers paid time off to get vaccinated or recover from COVID side effects, and said he'll include a paid tax credit for small businesses that do so.

Why it matters: The Biden administration sees workplaces as highly influential in making shots more convenient for working adults who are in high-risk industries.

  • 43% of working adults are currently vaccinated, compared to more than 80% of seniors, per federal data.
  • Wednesday's announcement comes as the White House expects to meet its goal of 200 million shots in arms by Thursday, within Biden's first 100 days in office.

Details: Businesses with fewer than 500 employees will be reimbursed for any paid time off they provide employees — up to $511 per day per employee. The paid tax credit is funded by the American Rescue Plan.

  • Guidance for small businesses on the tax credit is available on the IRS website.

The big picture: Some large employers already received permission from public health officials to vaccinate their employees at work. Many are also pulling out all the stops to nudge workers in the direction to get vaccinated.

By the numbers: Administration officials cited talks with businesses along with polling showing employees would be persuaded to get vaccinated if their employers provided access to shots.

  • 30% of unvaccinated employees say they are more likely to get shots if their employers offers incentives.
  • 80% say they want employers to give them paid time off for any potential recovery.

What they're saying: "I’m calling on every employer large and small in every state to give employees the time off they need, with pay, to get vaccinated," Biden said in a statement.

  • "No working American should lose a single dollar from their paycheck because they chose to fulfill their patriotic duty of getting vaccinated," he added
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