Discovery introduces a mandatory vaccination to all staff for 2022
The financial services group believes vaccination is the country’s best hope of defeating the pandemic.
Discovery will make Covid-19 vaccinations mandatory for all their South African employees effective 1 January 2022, the founder and chief executive Adrian Gore announced in a statement on 2 September.
The medical scheme is making the rule to ensure the safety of employees, the statement said.
“Vaccination is the country’s best hope of reaching population immunity, defeating the pandemic, and restoring the national vibrancy and way of life,” says Adrian.
Adrian explains that the mandatory vaccination policy recognises employees’ "right to object to the vaccination", and will include a process to consider the "employee’s health, religious and other legal rights and seek to balance these with the rights of all employees across the group.”
The vaccine-roll-out has just started in South Africa and about 15 percent of adults have been vaccinated.
Some of the major global companies that have made vaccines compulsory to at least some extent include lenders CitiGroup Inc. and Deutsche Bank AG, while US carrier Delta Air Lines said last month it will impose a $200 monthly fine on employees who aren’t vaccinated against Covid-19.
Discovery says that a comprehensive communication plan has been developed to ensure employees have access to accurate information on vaccines and why it is so important to vaccinate.
“Additionally, over the next few weeks, there will be opportunities for those who need personalised and confidential support with their vaccination decisions, to engage with clinical experts, health professionals, and Discovery and HR leaders.”
Discovery concluded that there may be pockets of criticism and pushback, but they won’t shirk their responsibility to lead in this context, given what is at stake.