British Virgin Islands

Thursday, Dec 09, 2021

Digicel issues region-wide COVID vaccine mandate for its employees

Digicel issues region-wide COVID vaccine mandate for its employees

Regional telecommunications giant Digicel will require all employees to provide proof of full or partial vaccination OR a negative Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) test every 14 days to continue working at the company.

This new mandate will affect more than 4,000 Digicel employees across the Caribbean and Central American region.

In a September 29 letter obtained by BVI News, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Digicel’s Caribbean & Central American region, Olivier Coughlan said that proof of vaccination status should be provided to the companies respective Human Resources (HR) departments by the close of business day on October 15, 2021.

According to the letter bearing the CEO’s signature, if an employee is unvaccinated, they “will be required to submit a negative PCR test result taken in the preceding 72 hours every two weeks to HR”.

The company further said the test will be done at the employee’s expense and the antigen test will not be accepted.

Employees must take unpaid leave or vacation without test

The document said that employees who are unable to provide a current PCR test and is unable to attend work, for this reason, must take the days as unpaid leave or they can choose to use them as vacation days if available.

The company made it clear that no employee will be permitted to work remotely to avoid taking the vaccine or PCR test.

Exemption from this new policy will only be granted for medical reasons. However, the employee must present a doctor’s report detailing why they are unable to take the vaccine, the company said.

Different legal positions in some countries

Digicel has also expressed that it is aware of the legal positions in some markets and it will deal with the issue on a ‘case by case basis’.

“Furthermore, we are keenly aware that several governments have already mandated similar measures under more rigorous timelines, which have already been fully adhered to by our respective CEOs,” the company added.

Digicel has said that its policy was designed to protect the “lives and livelihoods” of all its employees and customers. The company also used the letter as an opportunity to urge its unvaccinated staff to get vaccinated.

Vaccines are now widely available – with a small number of exceptions in some of our markets – and we have been very clear on our strong desire for all of our staff to get vaccinated,” the company said.


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