The Ghana Employers’ Association (GEA) has asked businesses to make the COVID-19 vaccination part of the workplace wellness programme, as a means to educate workers on the importance of taking the vaccine and the ability it has to break the pandemic’s spread.
According to the GEA, in the interest of business sustainability, the health and safety of workers and their families, it is encouraging all employers to take the necessary steps to ensure high patronage of the COVID-19 vaccines which government has approved.
Government has set up to third-quarter of 2021 to vaccinate more than half of the Ghanaian population. Consequently, 600,000 doses of the AstraZeneca-Oxford vaccine have arrived to aid the country in kick-starting the vaccination process.
The GEA, in a press statement signed by its CEO Alex Frimpong, intimated that with the workplace cited as a hotspot for spread of the virus, the vaccine’s arrival in the country serves as a great opportunity for employers and businesses to eliminate the pandemic from the workplace.
The press statement further said: “There is no doubt that high patronage of the vaccines by employers and their workers will boost business confidence, ensure a healthy workforce and promote a speedy recovery of businesses and the economy from disruptions occasioned by the pandemic.
“The Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) has subjected the vaccines to thorough scientific scrutiny, and has assured the nation that the vaccines are safe for use by all persons above 18-years of age and non-expecting women.
“The GEA therefore encourages employers to design robust communication strategies to promote the vaccination of their employees who may be sceptical or reluctant to take the vaccine due to inappropriate information they might have received.”
The Employers’ Association mentioned that the benefits that would accrue to businesses if workers take the vaccination-drive seriously include: a reduction of absenteeism due to COVID-19-related illnesses, and keeping management and employees healthy by preventing contraction of the COVID-19 virus.
It will also improve the much-required productivity to ensure enterprise recovers rapidly from the disruptions which accompanied outbreak of the virus; finally, it will improve employees’ morale by allaying all fears and uncertainties at the workplace.
The pandemic, since its outbreak in the country, has had a telling effect on the activities of both employers and workers. Many employers have had to scale-down or shutdown their businesses in response to the various measures implemented by government to contain the virus.
This has in various ways affected business and employment relations as well as work conditions at the workplace. Hence, the GEA has reminded workers to continue adhering to all COVID-19 protocols to keep the workplace safe for conducting business before, during and after the vaccination programme.
“All workers are also encouraged to comply with the employer’s directives and policies to vaccinate the organisation’ workforce. Attention must also be paid to all directives and updates from the Ministry of Health regarding the COVID-19 vaccination process.
“GEA finally urges Organised Labour to collaborate with employers to educate and sensitise workers on the need to patronise the vaccination exercise in our collective quest to rid the workplace of the pandemic,” the statement said.