COVID-19 office safety commitment
Creating a safe environment for our employees during the Covid pandemic
We are currently trialling a hybrid working pilot that requires all employees to be in the office at least two days a week, now that all adults in the UK have been offered two vaccinations. We are eager to welcome our employees back into our offices more regularly because we know this will facilitate collaboration, learning and a sense of belonging, in addition to nurturing our unique culture.
Our obligation as an employer is to ensure that we create a safe office environment for everyone in our new hybrid world. Over the past 18 months, we have implemented a raft of measures to protect and support our employees. We have also been following Public Health England’s advice to employers to promote the vaccination, because we know it is the most powerful tool we have to fight Covid infections.
As such, from 4 October all new joiners will be required to confirm that they have received or plan to receive the vaccination. This is to help ensure the safety of all employees and provide all employees with the same level of reassurance when they come into our offices. We are strongly encouraging existing employees to accept the vaccine and ensuring that anyone who is not vaccinated provides evidence of regular negative PCR tests.
If you have been advised by your GP or consultant not to receive the vaccination, you can let us know by asking your GP to complete our medical exemption form, and an accommodation will be made. If you believe you may be exempt under other grounds (non-medical) please submit your reasons to us and we will review them.
We are still in the throes of a deadly infectious disease pandemic that can and must be managed in the interests of our employees, and society. We believe our stance is the best way to prevent transmission of the virus and foster confidence about safety as more people come into our offices.
What office safety measures are in place?
- Conducting temperature checks on arrival at the office
- Respecting each other’s preferences regarding social distancing
- Encouraging employees to wear masks when not at their desks
- Promoting hand hygiene and sanitisation
- Observing any other government guidance
Why is Vitality urging employees to accept the vaccination?
We strongly believe that beyond our duty to protect our employees, we have a clear moral and social obligation informed by our core purpose to make people healthier and to enhance and protect their lives, and by our values – in particular acting as a force for social good. In addition, the science and data on the effectiveness and safety of Covid vaccines are unequivocal:
- Vaccines reduce the chance of contracting Covid by 50 – 80%.
- The risk of hospitalisation is 70 – 85% lower if you are vaccinated.
- The vaccine reduces the risk of death by 90 – 95%.
- There is a 50 – 80% lower risk of vaccinated individuals transmitting the virus if they do become infected.
We also know that Covid vaccines are proving safe, and that the risk of an adverse reaction to the vaccine is significantly lower than the risk posed by Covid infection. For example, your risk of myocarditis (inflammation of the heart muscle) from the vaccine is 73% lower than your risk of myocarditis caused by Covid if you are unvaccinated.
Public Health England reports that the risk of death from Covid is significantly less than the risk of death from normal flu, now that more than 75% of the UK population is fully vaccinated.