Covid-19 vaccine: UAE firms encourage staff to get jab

Dubai - People will feel less insecure and resume their normal responsibilities at workplace with less restrictions.

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By Waheed Abbas

Published: Sat 19 Dec 2020, 7:28 PM

Last updated: Sat 19 Dec 2020, 7:41 PM

Companies in the UAE are encouraging their employee to take the Covid-19 vaccine as it will bring confidence into consumers.

In order to facilitate their employees, companies are not just letting their employees to go and get jab during workhours but some of them are arranging transportation as well to get Covid-19 vaccination.

“Yes, we are encouraging employees to take the vaccine and quite a few of them have started taking it, including the senior management. We are in talks with the government officials to get permission to set up a facility in Jafza as we have a large number of employees. Simultaneously, we are also arranging for transportation facilities for those employees who don’t have their own a vehicle,” said Rizwan Sajan, chairman and founder of Danube Group.

Sajan said taking the vaccine will not only protect our employees but also instil confidence among our customers as well.

Paras Shahdadpuri, chairman of Nikai Group, said they have already taken initiatives to take Covid-19 vaccination and their staff is quite excited to take this jab.

“People will feel less insecure and resume their normal responsibilities at workplace and other social activities with less restrictions,” added Shahdadpuri.

Imran Farooq, CEO of Samana Group, says his group is not only encouraging its staff to get the jab, but it is also providing transportation and allowing them to go during office hours. “I believe getting vaccine as soon possible is the only solution for everyone to get back in to action in 2021 and start recovering what we all have lost. It could be health, work or business. On a broader level, the vaccination will revive the national economy,” added Farooq.

Ali Rao, CEO, Elixir Group, says once they came to know about the availability of vaccine, they issued an internal memo, encouraging employees to get the jab as soon as possible. “We are supporting with all necessary means to get it done.”

Fast & full recovery

Property developer Kleindienst Group said its employees have been working offshore from the Heart of Island project which four kilometres off the Jumeirah coast.

“We remained free from Covid-19 pandemic. Therefore, the vaccine is not as urgent for our offshore team as those onshore, for which we are scheduling the vaccine shots… If the vaccine programmes go as planned, the UAE will soon become Covid-19 free nation by as early as the first quarter of next year, which will pave the way for fast and full recovery of the economy and tourism industry. Once vaccinated, every employee of our company will work and move freely and this will accelerate the business activities,” said Josef Kleindienst, Chairman of Kleindienst Group.

Leena Parwani, CEO of LPH Financial Services, says they encouraged employees to take the Covid-19 doses as early as they can, so that they can move and work freely without any problems.

“We are also helping our clients first to get their vaccine sorted as soon as possible. We have organised for clients in Abu Dhabi to get the vaccine appointment and till today 41 of them have taken the vaccine. We are booking appointment for staff early next week for all during work hours. As this is one will give them peace of mind and safer environment.

“Once everyone takes the vaccines, not only they are free from the virus, chances of them spreading or carrying the virus becomes nil and it helps all of us at work and we will see greater productivity and more hectic workflow across the organisation. Our business will surely pick up once everyone gets the shots. The vaccines, if administered by January 2021 to all residents, the UAE can see massive economic activities by the first quarter of 2021 and we hope things go as planned,” said Parwani.

Prakul Kumar, chief human resources officer at Dabur Middle East, says none in the organisation have initiated to get the jab yet but the firm supports its employees in every way possible to get vaccinated, when they chose to do so.

Getting jab or not is not linked to employment

Abu Dhabi-based national carrier Etihad Airways says getting the jab is a very personal decision but many employees are very keen to receive it and the group is working hard with authorities to facilitate the process.

“It’s a very personal decision and we recommend that they research carefully before making. We have also reassured staff that the decision to receive or not the vaccine is in no way linked to their employment,” said Dr. Nadia Bastaki, Vice President Medical Services and CSR, Etihad Aviation Group.

“Initially, we coordinated with health authorities to be one of the first companies, in Abu Dhabi, to secure the vaccine for our staff. We also saw an opportunity for our Etihad Airways Medical Centre (EAMC), the first aeromedical centre in the Middle East, to expand their healthcare services by becoming an approved Covid-19 vaccination clinic for Etihad employees and their families. EAMC will soon be able to quickly access the vaccine from Etihad’s own in-house medical centre,” said Dr. Bastaki.

The vaccine ensures a safer community where people feel more confident about interacting with each other.

“We also hope that through increased vaccination rates people feel more confident travelling and for our employees, that they feel more confident being able to travel to see their loved ones around the world,’ she added.

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