Business, labour & govt agree on workplace COVID vaccination policy: Report

According to the 'Business Times', some of the country's largest employers were looking to ramp up the numbers by opening an initial 89 workplace sites that could vaccinate 24,300 people in a day.

Following the agreement, employers said they were waiting for clarity from the health department about a model to compensate private sector providers. Picture: © Chokniti Khongchum/123rf.com

JOHANNESBURG – A workplace policy that will see employees being vaccinated at their places of employment has been agreed on by business, labour, and the government.

The agreement on workplace COVID vaccine guidelines was reached at the National Economic Development and Labour Council (Nedlac) and would see that workers are encouraged to be inoculated, and are given paid time off to do so - but cannot be dismissed for declining to get vaccinated.

Following the agreement, employers said they were waiting for clarity from the health department about a model to compensate private sector providers for the inoculation costs.

Government has set a target of vaccinating an estimated 5.5 million South Africans aged 60 and above under phase two – and so far, the health department reported that as of Saturday 484,108 people of this age group have been inoculated.

READ: Over 900k vaccine jabs administered in SA - health department

This agreement will add another 16.5 million citizens to the vaccine roster with the goal of inoculating them in six months.

According to the Business Times, some of the country's largest employers were looking to ramp up the numbers by opening an initial 89 workplace sites that could vaccinate 24,300 people in a day.

The publication reports that employers have said that they want to vaccinate workers and their families, as well as surrounding communities, but they were waiting on the department to clarify how the private sector will be reimbursed for vaccinating people without medical aid.

It further reports that there were ongoing talks on including congregate settings such as mines, retailers, and prisons in phase two of the vaccination. This means that adults who live in these locations could be vaccinated regardless of age.

Business for South Africa said about 110 private and 210 public sites planned to be online this week.

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