DIS-CHEM, the multinational South African pharmaceutical giant, has issued a directive to its Namibian employees that vaccination will become a mandatory requirement.
Another organization to join the fray of companies banning unvaccinated employees is Letshego Holdings Limited.
A multitude of employers from both the private as well as public spheres have issued “vaccine mandates” to their employees over the past year, although the Namibian government has stated that vaccination at this stage is not a mandatory legal requirement.
In a general office notice, Dis-Chem employees were notified that a large proportion of them interact directly with the public and as such, vaccination is a requirement.
All employees who are not fully vaccinated by 1 February 2022 will be required to provide an antigen test every Monday. The test will be taken before staff will be allowed to enter the stores.
Dis-Chem further noted that this antigen test will be at the employees’ cost and if requirements of mask-wearing and antigen tests are not complied with by unvaccinated staff, disciplinary action will be taken.
The company further explained that if the employee has been vaccinated, the company will grant special Covid-19 leave for up to ten days and if the employee has not been vaccinated, normal sick leave will be deducted, after which annual leave will be used in case the sick leave is depleted.
“Do the right thing, get vaccinated as soon as possible,” the company notice read.
Approached for comment on the legality of this notice, Dis-Chem managers at The Grove Mall in Windhoek said this could only be answered by the head office in South Africa.
Another multinational company operating in Namibia, Letshego Holdings Limited, has also followed suit with mandatory vaccination requirements for their workers.
In a notice, Letshego stated that all employees are required to be fully vaccinated by 31 January 2022.
Employees who are not vaccinated will not be allowed to enter the premises in the interest of maintaining a safe and healthy working environment, and should as a result work from home with limited support.
Letshego further warned that non-adherence to the policy and protocols will not be taken lightly and will likely add to serious consequences for employees who do not comply.