Employers and trade associations representing over 1 million UK workers are backing a government campaign to encourage Covid-19 vaccine uptake amongst their staff.
IKEA, Asda, Slimming World, Metro Bank, Procter & Gamble UK, Santander, Nationwide, Severn Trent and Merlin Entertainments are joined by the British Beer and Pub Association and the Builders Merchants Federation to pledge to promote positive safety messages and signpost staff to NHS-verified advice on vaccines.
Organisations have pledged to be as flexible as possible when it comes to staff getting the vaccine, including ensuring staff can attend vaccination appointments during normal working hours. 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 question and answer 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 on all UK organisations to join the campaign by introducing similar internal awareness campaigns to promote the benefits of vaccination.
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 roll-out by hosting NHS vaccination centres in 3 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.”