MTN makes Covid-19 vaccines mandatory for its employees

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MTN Group CEO Ralph Mupita. Photo: Supplied by MTN
MTN Group CEO Ralph Mupita. Photo: Supplied by MTN

MTN has joined a growing number of South African companies that have implemented a vaccine mandate amid the battle with the fourth wave of Covid-19 and the new Omicron variant. 

Africa's largest mobile network operator said that those employees who refuse vaccinations, without a valid reason, will be fired. 

The policy will start in January. 

"The science is clear. Vaccination against Covid-19 reduces rates of serious infections, hospitalisation, and death," MTN group president and CEO Ralph Mupita said in a statement. 

"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.

"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 to apply to be exempted from the policy 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." 

Last week Standard Bank and Old Mutual said that they made it mandatory for their staff to get vaccinated against Covid-19.

This also comes as business, labour and community partners have submitted proposals on vaccine mandates to the National Economic Development and Labour Council (Nedlac) after President Cyril Ramaphosa said the government will form a task force to look into making vaccines compulsory for people to access some areas and engage in some activities

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