Unvaccinated Curro teachers may face retrenchment

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Teachers had the opportunity to be vaccinated during July and the bulk did so. (Photo by Sharon Seretlo/Gallo Images via Getty Images)
Teachers had the opportunity to be vaccinated during July and the bulk did so. (Photo by Sharon Seretlo/Gallo Images via Getty Images)

Private education provider Curro will require all staff to be vaccinated by the end of the year.

"The department of education sent out a formal communication that they are moving towards making it mandatory for employees to be vaccinated. So, based on that, and as a responsible employer, one has to do a risk assessment to determine where the product you offer fits in," Curro CEO Andries Greyling told Fin24 on Wednesday.

"We are working with human capital. So, we are responsible to make sure we limit our risk. We attended a lot of workshops regarding various labour laws for the way forward. On Tuesday our board decided that vaccination will be mandatory. The process will start now of consulting with staff who are not vaccinated."

He added that teachers had the opportunity to be vaccinated during July and the bulk did so.

"Now we will consult with those who did not get vaccinated. If they're not willing to accept that the Covid-19 vaccination is now mandatory to create a safe teaching and learning space, then as an employer we are allowed to consider our options, which may include retrenchments. We will continue to ensure that the rights of individuals are respected at all times but there is no beating about the bush when it comes to the safety of our staff, learners and parents. Teachers work with children and we have to make sure we offer a safe environment," said Greyling.

On Wednesday, Curro announced that its headline earnings for the six months to end-June fell by by 49% to 19.4 cents per share.

Its "average learner numbers" for the first half of the 2021 year increased by 7% to 66 167 learners, while revenue increased by 12% to almost R1.8 billion.

But the company said its R1.5 billion rights issue in September last year resulted in there being 42% more weighted average shares, which reduced its earnings per share "meaningfully".

"Due to the ongoing lockdown restrictions, Curro’s ancillary revenue is lower than the comparable period in 2020 as well as the first half of 2019. The levels of bad debts and fee discounts granted were also higher during the first half of 2020 than what the Company experienced historically before the pandemic."

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