Africa’s biggest mobile operator, MTN Group has announced that it will be implementing a mandatory vaccination policy for its staff from January 2022.
MTN Group in a statement issued on December 6, 2021, said staff who were not exempt from vaccinations either through risk assessment or agreed exclusions but still refused vaccination will risk losing their jobs from next year.
The statement said the new vaccine policy is a measure to meet legal obligations in regard to providing a safe workplace and shall be subject to risk assessment and local laws where its companies and subsidiaries operate.
“The science is clear. Vaccination against COVID-19 reduces rates of serious infections, hospitalisation, and death. As an employer, we have a responsibility to ensure that our workplaces are guided by the highest standards of health and safety, and that has informed our decision to make COVID-19 vaccination mandatory for our staff,” MTN Group President and Chief Executive Officer Ralph Mupita said.
“Our new COVID-19 policy recognises that some of our markets don’t have adequate access to vaccines. It also recognises some low-risk roles that will be accommodated with full-time work-from-home or alternate arrangements, but this will be a small population within our workforce,” he added.
The statement also noted that exceptions would be made for employees in countries that don’t have access to vaccines as well as those who “apply to be exempted from the policy and/or refuse vaccination on certain clearly defined grounds”.
“MTN Group’s new vaccine policy is a measure to meet MTN’s legal obligations in regard to providing a safe workplace and shall be subject to risk assessment and local laws that apply to the MTN Group and our operating companies and subsidiaries,” the statement said.
“It also recognises the right of employees to apply to be exempted from the policy and/or refuse vaccination on certain clearly defined grounds. For those staff who are not exempt from vaccinations either through risk assessment or agreed exclusions but still refuse vaccination, MTN will not be obliged to continue the employment contract”.
MTN’s new mandatory vaccination policy follows the Group’s US$25 million donation to the African Union’s COVID-19 vaccination programme.