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Retailers roll out paid vaccine leave as vaccine rollout speeds up

Shoppers look at racks of clothes at a department store in Seoul. (Yonhap)
Shoppers look at racks of clothes at a department store in Seoul. (Yonhap)
Retail giants such as Shinsegae Group and Lotte Group are rolling out paid vaccine leave for staff as the country’s vaccine rollout gathers speed.

Shinsegae Group, the retail giant behind Shinsegae Department Store and Emart, said on Monday it would provide two days off work to those who get vaccinated.

The group said one additional day off will be provided to those who have side effects from vaccination.

“We are actively providing our employees with an environment where they can get vaccinated without worries and take enough rest before coming back to work,” one official at the company said.

The move comes as the daily number of vaccinations hit a record high of over 700,000 last Thursday.

Lotte Group subsidiaries including Lotte Department Store and Lotte Mart are offering up to three paid days off for those who get vaccinated.

All employees will take time off work on the day of vaccination and those showing side effects will be given two additional days to rest.

Subsidiaries of Hyundai Department Store Group including its department store and home shopping network will start offering two paid days off from next month – on the day of vaccination and the day after.

“We will not only provide a safe working environment for employees but help raise vaccination rates and overcome COVID-19,” one official at the group said.

Handsome, a fashion company that is part of the retail giant group, began offering paid vaccine leave from earlier this month in a gradual process.

Supermarket chain Homeplus is providing staff with two days off for each dose of two-shot vaccines like Pfizer and AstraZeneca.

The policy applies to both those who have been called to be vaccinated as well as those filling a no-show vaccine appointment. The company said the move is to create a safe working environment for staff and a safe shopping space for customers.

Beauty firm Amorepacific also rolled out a similar policy this month, offering two days off each shot.

LG Household & Health Care is offering two days off, keeping in line with its holding company LG Corp.

E-commerce giant eBay Korea which operates multiple shopping platforms including Gmarket, Auction and G9 has recently introduced paid vaccine leave of up to three days.

Another e-commerce platform Tmon announced last week it would give up to three days off for each vaccination shot, providing a total of six days off to those who receive a two-shot vaccination.

E-commerce platform WeMakePrice has also guaranteed two paid days off for each shot for staff who get vaccinated.

“We were among the first to introduce working from home in February last year after the spread of COVID-19. Staff will be encouraged to take vaccine leave to have enough rest before coming back to work,” one official at WeMakePrice said.

By Yim Hyun-su (hyunsu@heraldcorp.com)
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