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Ottawa Store Gives $500 Vaccine Bonus To Fully Vaccinated Staff Members

How would you like an extra $500 in your pocket just for being fully vaccinated? If you're an employee at one of Bushtukah's two locations in Ottawa, you probably already know how it feels.

The local outdoor gear store is giving employees who are fully vaccinated with two doses of a COVID-19 vaccine a $500 bonus after a particularly successful first half of the year, David Morton, financial controller at Bushtukah, told Narcity.

Staff reactions

Julie Band, assistant store manager of Bushtukah's Stittsville location, revealed to Narcity that it is a "thank you to staff. Through COVID-19 everybody has been so great about doing the double vaccinations. It's just a thank you they decided to do, just so we're all protected. Our customers are protected when they come in. It's just a thank you for that."

Morton told Narcity that the initiative was brought up after a particularly lucrative half point in their fiscal year when they were looking for a way to thank the staff for their hard work without waiting until the end of the year and including the younger staff who would soon be leaving for university.

How it came to be

Morton said they thought, "why don't we do something across the board that's the same for all part-time and full-time employees, regardless of whether they're full-time or one or two days a week part-time staff and just acknowledge and thank them for their efforts during the pandemic?"

"And we came up with the idea of giving $500 to every fully vaccinated staff member, knowing that that would be the vast majority of our staff. Except for the younger staff that are still waiting for a second appointment to be scheduled."

Mortons says they have currently given the bonus to roughly 143 employees, and the younger staff who are waiting on their second doses will be compensated afterwards.

At $500 a head, that brings Bushtukah's current payout to over $70,000.

Morton says about 98% of their staff has been vaccinated and that the initiative was not intended to push employees to get vaccinated.

"You know, as opposed to asking managers to do individual performance assessments during the busy summer and come up with a more complex bonus program, this was a way to share the success of the business in the first of half of the year in a simple way but also tie to something that made sense from a public health standpoint."

Band says employees have been "happy to be recognized," grateful, and surprised by the company's new bonus.

Health Canada has a robust website with all the latest information on the vaccines and can answer any questions you may have. Click here for more information.

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