MTN makes COVID-19 vaccination mandatory for staff
Africa’s largest mobile phone company MTN Group Monday said it will make COVID-19 vaccination mandatory for its staff from January 2022.
The company said it will not be obliged to continue honouring employment contract of “staff who are not exempt from vaccinations either through risk assessment or agreed exclusions but still refuse vaccination.”
The policy on vaccination follows MTN’s US$25 million donation to the African Union’s COVID-19 vaccination programme.
“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,” said MTN Group President and Chief Executive Officer Ralph Mupita in a statement.
“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,” he added.
Mupita also hit out at “unjust” travel restrictions placed on some African countries, and said African countries are being punished foe being transparent with information of coronavirus.
MTN has presence in South Africa, Nigeria, Zambia and 14 other African countries. Some of these countries have faced travel restrictions since South Africa announced the discover of the Omicron variant of coronavirus late last month.
“The latest travel bans on African countries by developed nations are not based on science, are unjust and add to the lack of support for Africa that is much needed for an effective global response to the pandemic. African countries are being punished for the very transparency that’s actually needed to successfully combat the impact on lives and livelihoods of the COVID-19 virus,” he added.
The latest data shows that across the continent, only 7% of Africans have been fully vaccinated. This compares with a global population vaccination rate of 55%.
“The fight against COVID-19 needs a global, comprehensive and equitable allocation of vaccines,” he added.