Federal workers will be granted paid time off to take their children to get vaccinated, the government announced Wednesday.
Children ages 5 through 11 became eligible to receive the Covid-19 vaccine this week, allowing about 28 million more kids in the United States to receive the two-dose shot.
Federal agencies must grant employees up to four hours of administrative leave per dose, according to the Office of Personnel Management.
The move is based on President Joe Biden’s direction that the federal government should “work to aggressively maximize” the number of people getting vaccinated, the guidance said.
Federal workers were already eligible for paid leave when getting their own vaccine shots. In the case of booster shots, the paid leave may be applied retroactively to the time when authorized booster shots became available. About 89% of American adults are now eligible for a booster.
For private sector workers, it’s largely up to their employer whether they can take paid time off to take their children to get vaccinated.
On Thursday, the Biden administration announced a new mandate requiring workers at large private businesses and some health care workers and federal contractors to get vaccinated by January 4. The mandate also requires private employers to provide workers with a “reasonable” amount of paid time off to get the vaccine, as well as paid sick leave to recover from side effects – though the mandate didn’t mention paid time off for parents taking their children to get vaccinated.
Some small and midsize private employers were previously eligible for a federal tax credit meant to reimburse them for the cost of providing paid leave to employees for getting the vaccine. That benefit expired at the end of September.
About 21% of American workers have no paid sick leave, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.