Standard Bank and Old Mutual have made it mandatory for their staff to get vaccinated against Covid-19.
Standard Bank said its new policy requires all employees in South Africa who work from any of its premises to be vaccinated. "The policy will be implemented in South Africa in the first instance and will come into effect on 4 April 2022 in South Africa," said the bank in a statement released on Friday.
The company said employees who have valid reasons for not vaccinating will be afforded a chance to lodge a motivated objection, and it will make every reasonable attempt to accommodate them.
The bank said it did not make this decision lightly. It was advised by its risk teams, medical experts and social scientists, who have carefully weighed up the scientific data.
"Covid-19 vaccines have proven themselves globally. Large-scale, rigorous scientific studies have now shown conclusively - beyond any reasonable doubt – that the vaccines against Covid-19 approved by the World Health Organisation provide excellent protection against serious illness and death," said Standard Bank CEO Sim Tshabalala.
Tshabalala said data that Standard Bank relied on showed that vaccines are more effective than the immunity people get from having survived Covid-19. They also reduce the chances of spreading the virus by 40% to 60%.
The bank said it has already discussed the rationale for its decision with its recognised trade union, SASBO.
Old Mutual announced during its investor day that it is targeting to have 100% of its SA staff vaccinated by January 2022.
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