Standard Bank withdraws mandatory vaccination policy

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Unvaccinated Standard Bank employees no longer have to test for Covid-19 to access the banks premises.
Unvaccinated Standard Bank employees no longer have to test for Covid-19 to access the banks premises.
Gallo Images/Brendan Croft


Standard Bank has has withdrawn its mandatory Covid-19 vaccination policy.

The bank came under fire for dismissing 40 employees and placing others on special leave for refusing to vaccinate despite the company making it compulsory to do so. 

Earlier this month, Standard Bank suspended the policy but it was already in the crosshairs of financial sector union Sasbo.

The bank announced that it had withdrawn the policy on Friday, explaining that its decision was due to its 95% vaccination rate and changes in regulations. 

It further explained that every decision it has made during the pandemic was with employee and client interests in mind. 

Standard Bank SA CEO Lungisa Fuzile said the policy was introduced in response to the Delta wave in late 2021.

In justification of the decision, Fuzile added that it was the right move at the time because it enabled the bank to meet its obligations and keep employee's safe.

The policy withdrawal means that unvaccinated staff members don't have to take PCR or Rapid Antigen tests before entering banks premises.

"Unfortunately there are a number of unvaccinated employees that we parted company with, after they declined the alternative of testing which had been offered to them.

"Following the withdrawal of the policy, we are engaging with these colleagues to explore re-employment opportunities, as we feel strongly that this is the right thing to do," Fuzile said in a statement.  

In a statement, Sasbo general secretary Modime Joe Kokela described the move as a "great victory". 

 

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