The BVI Chamber of Commerce and Hotel Association (BVICCHA) conducted two online surveys in June 2021: one to assess members’ perspectives on the topic of vaccination and another to garner business stakeholders’ thoughts on testing. The member respondents represent over 50% of the total membership. Key highlights from the membership survey are as follows:
- 63% of members support vaccination;
- nearly 50% said they support requiring employee vaccination;
- over 90% of member respondents favour the use of rapid testing; and
- almost 20% indicated that vaccines should be required for hospitality/tourism and essential services employees.
Some business owners have expressed that vaccination is about providing a safe and healthy workplace and the continuation of business operations. The idea expressed is that vaccination alongside public health protocols will minimize the risk of closing due to quarantine and/or self-isolation should an employee become ill or exposed. After having had to close or restrict business operations over the last 12 months, businesses are weary of future disruption affecting their sustainability when they are already running on fumes.
The Chamber has received many questions and concerns from businesses as it relates to what they can lawfully do to address health and safety concerns. To advise businesses on this matter accurately, the Chamber wrote to the Ministry of Natural Resources, Labour and Immigration and the Labour and Workforce Development Department for clarity. Executive Director, Keiyia Jackson-George, said, “The Deputy Commissioner of Labour and I have arranged to have a discussion on suggestions for a possible way forward. I look forward to seeing positive outputs out of the Department of Labour and an update on the amendments that are to be made to the legislation.”
The BVICCHA has shared the International Labour Organisation (ILO) guidance on their website at https://www.bviccha.org/covidresources/. These guidelines explain key provisions of international labour standards relevant to the COVID-19 pandemic and recovery. Topics covered include:
- Workers’ rights and responsibilities during the outbreak.
- Can COVID-19 be considered a work-related injury?
- Can workers be obliged to get vaccinated to access the workplace?
The Chamber acknowledges the unsung heroes of our economy that provide the goods, services, tax revenue and employment in the best and worse of times. The Chamber also relays deepest condolences to those who have lost loved ones to COVID-19.
The Chamber stands firm in its mission to be the proactive Voice of Business and is also offering business support services for any business owner who needs consultation on any problems they may have and need help solving. For more information about the Advocacy, Resource or Connection services provided, please call (284) 345-3513 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. To JOIN or RENEW your membership, please visit www.bviccha.org and click JOIN! Remember to follow all public health protocols to safeguard lives and livelihoods.
1. Survey Results Pt 1
2. Survey Results Pt 2