Covid-19 injection. Azlan Mohammed/AZP News
FIRSTLY, let me say no one is forcing anyone to take the Covid-19 vaccine. No business owner is holding their employees down and jabbing them.
Secondly, business owners have the right to put measures in place they believe are best for their business. As it stands they believe having a vaccinated work force is the best step forward in avoiding further lockdowns and other health and safety issues.
Undies went into full knots yesterday when an internal memo from the Trent Restaurant group was publicly leaked. Sent to employees, it stated that non-vaccinated employees will have to wear extra personal protective equipment (PPE) and will be required to submit a negative PCR test every two weeks at their own cost. Failure to submit a PCR test will result in them not being rostered for work.
Enter the freedom police, ranting on about unscrupulous business owners threatening workers’ rights to make their own medical choices, boycotting businesses that are either giving preferable status to vaccinated employees or are “forcing employees” to get vaccinated.
I often wonder if these people read international news.
Employers requiring workers to be either vaccinated or requiring negative PCR tests from unvaccinated employees is not endemic to T&T.
Facebook, for example, requires all of their in house employees to be vaccinated.
Universities all over the globe are requiring students be vaccinated to return to school.
Regionally, Sandal Resorts has a similar policy to the Trent restaurant group. If you don’t want the vaccine, not a problem, but you have to provide a regular negative PCR test, done at your own cost, to be permitted to work.
Listen, if you don’t want to be vaccinated for whatever reason, that is your business. You are doing what you believe is best for you. The whole collective good versus individual good argument won’t change your mind, you have your reasons and that is that.
However we continue to forget that with every decision we make there are consequences. Currently the consensus is that to control the virus and reopen businesses, a vaccinated population is the way to go.
If you have chosen not to be vaccinated, you have to be prepared to deal with the consequences. In this instance your decision impacts the conditions of your employment.
Personally, I completely understand businesses that are insisting on their employees be vaccinated. The science has shown us again and again that vaccines can reduce the spread of Covid and reduce an infected person’s chance of being hospitalised or straight up dying.
Businesses, especially those in the retail and service sector, have been hardest hit by the pandemic and truthfully they cannot risk another shut down. So they are taking steps they believe are needed to protect their employees and business. That is their right.
If you do not want to be vaccinated and you feel as though your employer is either pressuring you to be vaccinated or treating you unfairly because you do not want the vaccine, you have the right to seek employment elsewhere. They are not chaining you up inside their place of business.
Now people have argued that this is an unfair stance as the opportunities for employment are scarce and some people cannot just leave their job. This is true, but sadly life is unfair and unfortunately if you make a stance you have to be prepared to stand by it.
What needs to be explored is what happens if an employee cannot for legitimate medical reasons be vaccinated. In those cases special provisions should be made.
For the freedom police who asking whether or not restaurants will only be serving vaccinated customers, be real nah! Also don’t ask for things you do not want, because as it is many establishments in other countries are actually requiring proof of vaccination from their customers.
For those screaming “boycott,” have you all really thought about that. Let’s say your boycott is successful. Who do you really think you are hurting? When that business has to reduce services and lay off staff, will you be paying the bills of those who lost their jobs because of your actions?
Everyone has the right to choose whether they want to be vaccinated or not.
You cannot get all up in your feelings and hurt if your choice has negative repercussions.
You cannot bully a business owner for making a decision they feel is best for their business, the same way you do not want to be bullied for not wanting to be vaccinated.