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Intel Offers Bonuses To Vaccinated Employees But No Mandate: Memo

The semiconductor giant is offering bonuses worth up to $350 to employees who get vaccinated against COVID-19 by the end of the year, but the company is currently not making it a requirement, according to a memo seen by CRN. ‘Provided it is possible for you, this is an act that will keep you, your family, your colleagues, and your community safer,’ Intel CEO Pat Gelsinger wrote in the memo.

Intel is offering bonuses worth up to $350 to vaccinated employees by the end of the year, but the chipmaker is holding off from making it a requirement for now, according to a memo seen by CRN.

In a Wednesday memo to employees, Intel CEO Pat Gelsinger urged employees to get a COVID-19 vaccination when it is available in their area and said the bonus is meant as a commendation to those who have already done so and as an encouragement to those who haven’t yet. He noted that “Intel does not currently require employees to get a COVID-19 vaccination.”

[Related: WWT CEO Jim Kavanaugh On ‘Likely’ Office Delay, Vaccine Mandate Debate]

Intel has roughly 111,000 employees across the world.

“Provided it is possible for you, this is an act that will keep you, your family, your colleagues, and your community safer,” Gelsinger wrote in the memo. “I’m a data guy, and the data shows that vaccination is a critical element in ending this pandemic. The risk of infection among vaccinated individuals is reduced about three-fold, and the risk of severe disease or death is reduced by ten-fold or greater.”

An Intel spokesperson confirmed the contents of the memo but had no further comment.

All employees who get vaccinated will receive a $250 cash bonus, which will be adjusted based on geography, according to Gelsinger. He added that hourly employees who get vaccinated will receive $100 in food vouchers in addition to the $250 cash reward, and that the eligibility date for employees will be extended “in countries where the vaccine is not readily available before the end of the year.”

Vaccinated employees will also be able to resume “business travel and attendance at external events and conferences on behalf on Intel” starting Oct. 1, Gelsinger said. However, he added, “all travel and events remain subject to manager approval and must also meet Intel’s COVID travel requirements as well as any local restrictions,” though there may be “business-critical circumstances.”

Gelsinger said the chipmaker is “dedicated to making it easy to get vaccinated,” which involves collaboration with governments and health authorities to make vaccines available for employees “as well as their household members and Intel contract workers as supply becomes available.” He added that more than 47,000 vaccines have been administered or are in the process of being administered so far at Intel’s distribution sites.

As for whether remote employees can return to their offices, Gelsinger said the answer is complicated because of the difference in COVID-19 cases across different regions. As such, the company is using a phase system that factors in the number of cases and other considerations.

“For example, as of today, our sites in Poland are in Phase 3, which means we are relaxing some of our COVID protocols and all employees assigned to these campuses can work onsite,” he said. “Our sites in Arizona, on the other hand, are still in Phase 1, which means in addition to safety measures only our workforce performing essential on-site services or up to 10% can work from the site.”

The memo outlining Intel’s cash reward for vaccinated employees was sent as governments and employers grapple with ways to encourage employees to get vaccinated as the COVID-19 delta variant surges across the world. Some major tech companies have enacted vaccine mandates for their employees, including AT&T, Google, Microsoft and Hewlett Packard Enterprise.

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