British Virgin Islands

Monday, Sep 20, 2021

Nearly half of local businesses back employee vaccination requirement

Nearly half of local businesses back employee vaccination requirement

Nearly 50 percent of local businesses that participated in a recent survey from the BVI Chamber of Commerce and Hotel Association (BVICCHA) have said they support requiring employee vaccination.

Almost 20 percent of these businesses also indicated that vaccines should be required for hospitality/tourism and essential services employees.

The BVICCHA said the survey was done to assess its members’ perspectives on vaccination and to garner business stakeholders’ thoughts on COVID testing.

The Chamber, which has more than 60 members, said more than half of those members participated in the survey conducted last month.

Other findings

Other findings reported are that 63 percent of respondents support vaccination, and more than 90 percent favour the use of rapid testing.

“The BVICCHA endorses the results of the survey from membership. The Chamber will do its part to educate businesses on the benefits of vaccination and encourages the private sector to use its collective voice to do the same. The Chamber all encourages all employees to get vaccinated if they can,” the Chamber said while sharing the findings.

It further said the BVICCHA has received many questions and concerns from local businesses as it relates to what they can lawfully do to address health and safety concerns.

Meeting with Deputy Labour Commissioner

To properly advise businesses on this matter, the Chamber said it wrote to the Labour Ministry for clarity.

“The Deputy Commissioner of Labour and I have arranged to have a discussion on suggestions for a possible way forward. I look forward to seeing positive outputs out of the Department of Labour and an update on the amendments that are to be made to the legislation,” Executive Director of the BVICCHA, Keiyia Jackson-George reported.

The BVICCHA also appealed to the relevant government agencies to clarify any labour-related policies that may support clarity regarding employer and employee rights.

International guidelines

In the meantime, the Chamber reminded local businesses to engage and educate their employees on any changes to their employment terms and conditions to maintain harmonious working relationships.

And while the BVICCHA awaits an official correspondence from the government, it has shared the International Labour Organization’s guidance on the subject matters.

These guidelines explain key provisions of international labour standards relevant to the COVID-19 pandemic and recovery and can be found on the BVICCHA’s official website.


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