Mobile telecommunications company MTN has become the latest big corporate to announce a planned vaccine mandate policy for all staff.
In a statement on Monday, the group said the move forms part of its efforts to protect the health and safety of staff.
The MTN Group said it would be implementing a mandatory vaccination policy for in January.
“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,” said MTN group president and chief executive officer Ralph Mupita.
“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.”
MTN said it recognised the right of employees with what it termed “clearly defined grounds” to be exempted from the policy and refuse vaccination.
But for those staff not exempt from the policy through risk assessment or agreed upon exclusions who refuse to get vaccinated, MTN said it would not be “obliged to keep them in employment”.
“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 Independent’s non-executive chairman Mcebisi Jonas has been in West Africa during the state and official visits by the South African government as part of businesses delegation where the issue of mandatory vaccines was also discussed.