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Standard Bank exploring re-employment opportunities for staff who were let go for not vaccinating

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Standard Bank said it is exploring ways for re-employment of staff it parted ways who refused to be vaccinated against Covid-19.

File picture: Reuters

Standard Bank said it is exploring ways for re-employment of staff it parted ways who refused to be vaccinated against Covid-19.

ONE of South Africa’s biggest banks, Standard Bank, has said it is exploring ways for re-employment of staff it parted ways with who refused to be vaccinated against Covid-19.

Earlier this week, on Monday, the Standard Bank of South Africa announced the withdrawal of its Covid-19 vaccination policy, thanks to regulatory shifts, its high vaccination rate of 95% and the state of the pandemic in South Africa.

“Every decision that the Bank has made, and each step that it has taken throughout the pandemic, has been with the interests of its employees and clients in mind,” Standard Bank said in a statement on Friday.

Standard Bank SA CEO Lungisa Fuzile emphasised that the policy was introduced late last year following the devastating Delta wave of the pandemic, and was the right decision in that context, ensuring that the Bank was able to meet its obligations to provide a safe working environment for all.

Following the Health Minister’s announcement in late June 2022, the Bank said it immediately advised employees of changes to its safety protocols and paused all incapacity processes, in anticipation of the outcome of a revised risk assessment and workplace plan, which enabled the subsequent review of its Covid-19 policy.

Fuzile added that as a result of the withdrawal of the policy, unvaccinated employees no longer needed to undergo PCR or Rapid Antigen tests prior to accessing the Bank’s premises.

Incapacity processes were discontinued, with these employees being welcomed back to work.

“Unfortunately there are a number of unvaccinated employees that we parted company with, after they declined the alternative of testing which had been offered to them. Following the withdrawal of the policy, we are engaging with these colleagues to explore re-employment opportunities, as we feel strongly that this is the right thing to do,” said Fuzile.

Looking to the future, the Bank said it will continue to remain responsive to the shifting landscape and will take appropriate action should the situation with respect to the pandemic deteriorate.

“We continue to support and encourage vaccination to ensure the wellbeing of our employees, our clients and their loved ones,” said Fuzile.

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