As part of President Biden’s announcement on April 21 that he expected to meet his goal of 200 million shots administered in the first 100 days of his administration, he put a call out to employers encouraging them “to do everything they can to help their employees – and their communities – get vaccinated.” He went on to advocate that “providing paid time off for vaccinations is an investment in the safety, productivity and health of an employer’s own workforce and their community” and “no working person in this country should lose a single dollar from their paycheck to take time to get the shot or recover from it.”
With the enactment of the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARP) on March 11, employers with fewer than 500 employees became eligible to claim refundable tax credits that reimburse them for the cost of providing paid sick leave for employees to get a COVID-19 vaccine as well as any time they may need to recover from the vaccination. The paid leave tax credit are credits against the employer’s share of the Medicare tax and will offset the cost for up to 80 hours (10 workdays) at a rate of up to $511 per day for leave taken from April 1, 2021, through September 30, 2021.
Participation in the program is not mandatory but employers who wish to participate must track and report the missed time off as sick leave and not simply award employees a block of paid time off for vaccine appointments and recovery and expect that to be reimbursable. Interested employers should review this Internal Revenue Service (IRS) provided fact sheet to learn more about how to claim the paid sick leave credit on their quarterly tax filings.