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GraceKennedy to implement COVID-19 Vaccination policy

GraceKennedy to implement COVID-19 vaccination policy

Posted  82 Views updated 8 months ago

The GraceKennedy Group has announced that it will be implementing a COVID-19 vaccination policy for its employees and contractors this year.

Under the policy, effective January 14, GK team members will be required to disclose their vaccination status to the company.

A COVID-19 vaccination requirement will then take effect next month.

As of February 11, all GK employees, contractors and consultants will be required to be either fully or partially vaccinated against COVID-19.

Then, on April 29, all GK employees, contractors and consultants will be required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 or be subject to COVID-19 PCR testing every two weeks.

If team members, contractors or consultants opt not to be fully vaccinated by April 29 and choose to take a PCR test instead, the cost of the tests will be borne by them.

In a media release, Group CEO, Don Wehby, explained that the timing of the policy and timelines included in the vaccination directive have been carefully considered based on the availability of COVID-19 vaccines in the markets where GK operates around the world, and the time required between the first and second dose of some types of vaccines.

The policy will apply to all new and existing employees of GK and will also extend to the company's third-party contractors, consultants, and independent contractors.

Applications for exemptions from the vaccination directive for medical reasons will be considered, the release stated.

GraceKennedy indicated that the official announcement about the policy was made by Wehby in a communication circulated to all employees on December 29, 2021.

It indicated that at a virtual town hall meeting hosted by Wehby today, details of the draft policy were presented to the GK team, who were given the opportunity to ask questions and provide feedback on what is to be implemented.

Wehby indicated that GraceKennedy is committed to providing a safe place of work for its team, business partners, and customers, which he said has become particularly critical in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We have been strongly encouraging our team to get vaccinated against COVID-19 and have been facilitating this through vaccination blitzes for our Jamaican businesses. We have also hosted virtual awareness sessions with medical experts to answer questions about the vaccines from our team members across the group,” he said.

“However, despite our best efforts, vaccination rates across our group vary considerably by location, and in some places, they remain too low. This is particularly worrying as the highly contagious omicron variant of the virus spreads around the world,” he continued.

Wehby said the company has to act in the interest of safety.

“Many of us have lost colleagues, friends, family members, and other loved ones to this virus. It has been an extremely difficult time for us all, so we must do all that we can to stop the spread of this devastating disease. I believe that widespread vaccination will be vital in winning our fight against COVID-19, and I have made a personal commitment to the GK team that I will do everything in my power to ensure that every GK team member who wishes to get vaccinated has the opportunity to do so.”

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