Businesses, employers and industry bodies across the UK have come together to support the Covid-19 vaccination programme and encourage their staff to get a jab when eligible.
So far, nine of the UK’s biggest national employers have pledged their support in promoting positive vaccination messages and encouraging their 240,000 employees to get the vaccine, including during working hours, to ensure workplaces are safe and staff can play their part in the UK’s biggest vaccination programme in history.
IKEA, Asda, Slimming World, Metro Bank, Procter and Gamble UK, Santander, Nationwide, Severn Trent and Merlin Entertainments are just some of the businesses that are encouraging high vaccine uptake among their employees. They have pledged to promote positive safety messages and signpost staff to NHS-verified advice on vaccines.
Industry bodies, such as the British Beer and Pub Association and Builders Merchants Federation, whose members supply the UK’s vital Construction Industry, have also thrown their weight behind the coalition in a bid to encourage their partners to get involved, totalling over a million people.
Health secretary Matt Hancock said: ‘Our vaccination programme has so far saved thousands of lives, protecting our loved ones and bringing down infection rates to a point where we can see normality on the horizon.
‘It’s fantastic that employers are prioritising the safety of their staff and doing all they can to encourage people to get vaccinated.
‘I urge everyone to get their vaccines when they get the call so we can beat this pandemic together.’
Organisations have pledged to be as flexible as possible when it comes to staff getting the vaccine and many companies, including IKEA, have also committed to giving paid time off work for employees, in addition to providing sick pay as standard for the minority who experience minor side effects like fever or a headache.
Employers will also use resources from the new national government campaign to run an internal awareness campaign consisting of key messages, vaccine fact sheets, informative Q&A videos, posters and many more resources to ensure their employees get access to reliable and accurate information about the Covid-19 vaccine.
The government is calling upon all UK organisations to join the campaign by introducing similar internal awareness campaigns to promote the benefits of vaccines.
Vaccine deployment minister Nadhim Zahawi said: ‘Vaccines save lives, they protect you and your loved ones from this terrible virus and they are the best way out of this pandemic.
‘Thank you to all of the organisations which have joined this incredibly important campaign to promote vaccine uptake.
‘I call on every business in the UK, no matter how big or small, to join the national charge and help your employees to access life-saving jabs when they are eligible.’
Faisal Tuddy, superintendent pharmacist at Asda said: ‘We have been extremely proud to play our part in the vaccine rollout by hosting NHS vaccination centres in three of our stores.
‘Asda was the first supermarket to offer this service and so far our pharmacy colleagues have now administered over 36,000 doses.
‘We are also encouraging our colleagues to get the jab as soon as they are eligible to and are supporting them by giving them the time off to attend both appointments to receive the vaccine as well as the time they need to recover if they feel unwell.’
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