How can businesses support the vaccination roll-out?
By the North East Association of Directors of Public Health
As the UK’s Covid-19 vaccination programme continues to roll out, employers have a part to play. The region’s Directors of Public Health have provided some useful information on the practical ways businesses can support the roll out, alongside a set of useful materials for the hospitality sector.
The North East Association of Directors of Public Health and the TUC are calling on employers to support their employees to take up the offer of Covid-19 vaccination.
Employers are asked to look at ways to encourage and reassure their staff about the benefits of vaccination and vaccine safety, using the latest information from the NHS and Government.
Vaccination benefits employers and employees by protecting individuals and other people in the workplace; helping to reduce Covid 19 related sickness absence; and may reduce the risk of Covid 19 outbreaks.
Some of the practical methods employers can encourage staff to get the vaccine, could be:
- Allowing paid time off for vaccination appointments.
- Paying staff their usual rate of pay if they’re off sick with vaccine side effects.
- Not counting vaccine-related absences in absence records.
- Agreeing a workplace vaccine policy.
- Providing health materials to support staff to protect their health.
- Listening to concerns on vaccination from staff.
For more information on Covid vaccination please see: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/coronavirus-vaccination/
There is also useful advice for employers at the ACAS site here: https://www.acas.org.uk/working-safely-coronavirus/getting-the-coronavirus-vaccine-for-work. The CIPD Guide for Employers (https://www.cipd.co.uk/knowledge/fundamentals/emp-law/health-safety/preparing-for-covid-19-vaccination#gref) provides a range of information on how to prepare for the vaccination roll out including communication, policy, planning for different groups of employees, addressing vaccine hesitancy, risk assessment and data protection.
Business Pack available for hospitality sector
A business pack has been produced by local authorities across the North East to help support hospitality business owners and managers to operate safely, protecting staff and customers, following the easing of lockdown restrictions.
The LA7 councils – in Northumberland, North Tyneside, Newcastle, Gateshead, South Tyneside, Sunderland and County Durham – worked together to develop the pack which has been designed to make it easier for business owners/managers in the hospitality sector to find the right guidance.
The pack contains useful information on the roadmap out of lockdown, a reminder of key messages such as social distancing for employees, the importance of cleaning, details on how to help employees follow self-isolation guidance and a useful checklist for businesses to help them stay Covid safe.
It is really important that as restrictions ease, we all remember to follow guidance on hand hygiene, social distancing, and the use of face coverings as this will continue to be essential in preventing the spread of the virus. The business pack can be viewed here: https://beatcovidne.co.uk/useful-links/how-to-safe-safe-at-work/