The Welsh Government is encouraging employers to do all they can to support their workforce to get vaccinated.
A new toolkit is today being launched to support businesses and organisations to help their workers get the COVID-19 vaccine.
Wales has some of the best vaccination rates in the world - incredible progress has been made over the last seven months as more than three-quarters of adults have completed the two-dose course.
Vaccination has helped to weakened the link between coronavirus infections and serious illness and hospital admissions. But there is a risk that more people could fall seriously ill if rates of vaccination do not increase further as the delta variant continues to spread in Wales and the rest of the UK.
Ministers have said that it is never too late to take up the offer of vaccination in Wales.
In an effort to increase vaccination rates even further, Economy Minister, Vaughan Gething and Health Minister, Eluned Morgan, are today launching a new toolkit to support employers.
It encourages them to:
- Be as flexible as possible when it’s time for staff to have a vaccine, this could include giving employees paid time off work to attend their appointments for both vaccine doses
- Use the campaign resources provided by the Welsh Government to run an awareness campaign in their organisation and provide employees with access to reliable and accurate information about the vaccine
- Share the Q&A document and expert advice videos to explain the vaccine and answer common questions employees may have
- Urge staff to be cautious about misinformation and encourage them to use trusted sources like phw.nhs.wales if they are searching for information or answers to questions about the vaccine
- Create employee vaccine champions by encouraging staff to discuss their experiences and share information with colleagues, family and friends
Economy Minister Vaughan Gething said:
Vaccines are the way out of this pandemic. They’re helping to protect people from serious illness and helping us all return to a more normal life. For the vaccine to be as effective as possible, it is really important that as many people as possible have it.
We are urging employers in Wales to encourage their employees to be vaccinated. Businesses and organisations play a vital role in helping to promote a positive vaccination message and helping to make sure workplaces are safe and employees are protected.
Only through a collective effort will we encourage as many people as possible to get the COVID-19 vaccine.
Health Minister Eluned Morgan said:
The COVID-19 vaccine programme is the biggest vaccination programme in NHS history. It has already saved thousands of lives.
People who are vaccinated are far less likely to get seriously ill, be admitted to hospital or die from this awful virus.
Our message is clear – join the millions already vaccinated. Together we’ll keep Wales safe.
Joanna Swash, Group CEO of Wrexham-based Moneypenny.com said:
We are extremely supportive of the Welsh Government’s approach to the COVID-19 vaccination programme and the safety and wellbeing of our employees is always our number one priority.
We have over 900 people in our HQ in Wrexham and we have actively encouraged our teams to get vaccinated by allowing them time off to make appointments for their vaccination. We believe it is in everyone’s interests that we are vaccinated as a community so we can all play our part in helping to control the transmission of this virus.
Jacki Simpson, VP People Operations at Asda said:
At Asda the safety of our colleagues and customers has been paramount throughout the pandemic, and as key workers our colleagues have been on the frontline of feeding the nation. With the rollout of the national vaccination programme we have continued to support our colleagues through our specific vaccination policy which gives guidance and information to our colleagues and leadership teams.
We have also increased our existing entitlement for paid time off for all our colleagues to allow them to attend their vaccine appointments, as well as ensuring paid leave following their vaccine for any colleague who needs it.
Through our regular communications to colleagues we have signposted and encouraged them to review the official information sources such as the NHS and government websites so that they can make their own, properly informed decision about the vaccine.
Even after having the COVID-19 vaccine, it’s essential everyone continues to do the small things to protect themselves and the vulnerable. This includes washing hands regularly, social distancing, wearing a face covering in indoor settings where required, meeting people outdoors, keeping rooms well ventilated if you need to be indoors, and getting a COVID-19 test if you suspect you have symptoms.