Sun | Oct 24, 2021

NCB issues COVID vaccination mandate for workers

Published:Wednesday | October 13, 2021 | 10:54 AM
NCB says employees who fail to comply with the mandate will be required to take the days on which they are absent from work as unpaid leave. - File photo.

The National Commercial Bank (NCB) Financial Group on Tuesday issued a COVID-19 vaccination mandate for its staff.

Proof of full or partial vaccination must be shared by October 31, by all staff, whether permanent, temporary or on contract.

The mandate applies to staff working remotely and in the office. 

Employees who have not received a dose of a vaccine by month-end will be required to submit a negative PCR COVID-19 test result by Wednesday of each week, beginning November 3. 

PCR tests will be at the expense of employees. 

Further, the mandate makes an exception for employees who may be unable to be vaccinated owing to underlying medical conditions.

Those employees are to submit a medical certificate by October 31 for review by NCB's medical practitioner.  

Employees who fail to comply with the mandate will be required to take the days on which they are absent from work as unpaid leave.

NCB added that with the agreement of the employee's manager, vacation days may be used in lieu of unpaid days.

Last Wednesday, major private sector interests called for companies to introduce COVID-19 vaccination mandates as part of the wider national effort to mitigate the spread of the virus.

In a joint statement, the Private Sector Organisation of Jamaica, the Jamaica Chamber of Commerce and the Jamaica Manufacturers and Exporters Association explained that the national problem of a low vaccination rate requires more far-reaching measures.

The associations said a vaccination policy not only saves lives but also reduces disruption in businesses and sustains productivity.

NCB President and group CEO, Patrick Hylton, said the company has had almost 200 infections among its staff since March 2020 and three deaths.

Hylton noted that the measures imposed by the Government have “proved insufficient to stop the spread of this extremely transmissible disease”, and so too the measures implemented at NCB.

“Given the significance and sensitivity of decisions in this area, we consulted with the NCB Staff Association and took their perspectives into consideration. We also considered legal and industry considerations. A decision has now been taken to mandate COVID-19 vaccines for all members of staff,” a section of the NCB staff circular read. 

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